The PSFG, which consists of the main stakeholders in European football, discussed a range of initiatives at a summit in Nyon, Switzerland yesterday. Agent fees, back in the spotlight following Alexis Sanchez’s move from Arsenal to Manchester United, were high on the agenda while Financial Fair Play, squad size limits, and a “transfer tax” were also examined.
Sanchez’s representative Fernando Felicevich received a reported £15m (€17m) for his part in the Chile international’s transfer to Old Trafford, which was formally announced on Monday.
Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola was also said to have been paid £24m (€27m) for brokering the midfielder’s £89m move from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016.
Uefa said: “The PFSC endorsed a joint position on football agents/intermediaries, which is designed to shape policy change in this regard by potentially adding a cap on fees, introducing more transparency/accountability, and appropriate sanctions in case of infringement of the rules.”
Meanwhile the United States-led bid for the 2026 World Cup is hoping the “economic certainty” it offers the global football family will trump any possible concerns about America’s current leadership.
That was the message from “the united bid” when its three leaders — US Soccer Federation president and bid chairman Sunil Gulati, Mexican FA boss Decio de Maria and Canada’s CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani — visited London yesterday en route to the campaign’s first big lobbying opportunity, the Uefa Nations League draw in Lausanne.
The joint pitch has been the favourite since the three countries confirmed their bid last April, particularly as 2026 follows what Gulati described as two “not easy” World Cups in Russia and Qatar and will be the first to involve 48 teams, up from the current 32.
The fact the trio’s only rival is Morocco — a country that has made four losing bids already and is yet to announce any details about its fifth attempt, beyond revealing its bid logo and committee this week — has only added to the sense this is a done deal.
However, American bids have been favourites for international sports events before and lost, and there is growing concern within the three countries that an international backlash to US President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric could open the door for Morocco.
Issues such as Trump’s proposed wall on the US/Mexico border, travel restrictions on certain Muslim-majority countries, his opposition to the Paris climate agreement and moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem have been deeply unpopular abroad.
But perhaps even more damaging were Trump’s inflammatory comments about immigrants from developing countries including El Salvador and Haiti, two members of the football confederation run by Montagliani.
The former Canadian FA boss tweeted his support to those countries on January 12 but when asked by reporters on Tuesday if he also “condemned” the remarks, he simply restated his support.
On whether an anti-Trump effect could see the bid defeated at Fifa’s annual congress in Moscow on June 13, Montagliani said: “When we started thinking about bidding, years ago, there was certain political environment, there is one right now and there’ll be one in 2026.
“From a bid point of view, it’s been about football and it will always be about football.”
Gulati said the bid had received all the government assurances it needed and any guarantees Fifa wants, in terms of free entry for “participants” or tax breaks, would be put in writing when the bid is submitted on March 26. When asked if the bid would use Trump in its final pitch, as former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have featured in previous American bids, Gulati said that had not yet been decided.