Paul Pogba’s transfer back to Manchester United (after leaving Manchester United for Juventus) broke the record for the most money paid for a single transfer ever in the history of the Premier League at 89.3 million pounds in the summer of 2016.
The move was highly-scrutinized by pundits and critics abound who thought that while Pogba was certainly talented, he didn’t warrant more money than Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo. His position in the midfield just doesn’t fetch those kind of numbers, or more accurately hadn’t up until this point.
But while everyone was concerned with Pogba’s total, his agent Mino Raiola scooped up an unprecedented 41 million pounds from the deal.
Now FIFA agents are concerned with just how those arrangements were met. And other members of the league are voicing their dissatisfaction with the practices, namely smaller clubs whose entire budgets combined are smaller than Raiola’s fee for a one-time transaction.
The ‘scandal’ as it’s being called breaks down like this: Raiola is Paul Pogba’s agent, and as such his job to land the most lucrative deal possible for his player. Within the deal itself, Raiola is also on file as an intermediary on behalf of Manchester United in order to presumably secure the star for a lower price.
At the same time however, Raiola may have been being paid by Juventus in order to secure the highest price for the star.
How would Raiola be able to do this? The English FA does not require agents acting for overseas clubs (as Juventus is) to disclose this information. So his obligations, contractual or otherwise were able to go unreported.
So is what Raiola did illegal? It depends, it’s certainly a grey area of ethical, and it hasn’t been accomplished to this scale ever before. An agent single-handedly orchestrates the biggest deal of the year and receives payment from both clubs, and the player in question?
Andy Holt, chairman of small outfit Accrington Stanley had this to say,
“That cash should not be squandered on ridiculous fees. If you were only giving him £40m rather than £41.39m, that makes Accrington or Morecambe solvent. It doesn’t matter how much you give to these big clubs because they’ll just blow it.
“The money in that Pogba deal is an absolute scandal. It’s madness. They’ve lost all sense of value. I don’t know if anyone — including Manchester United — can justify it.”
Carlisle manager Keith Curle found the fees problematic, not on a, ‘what could better be done with it’ talking point, but out of practicality, stating,
“For anybody to take that much from an individual transaction is embarrassing. How much advice can one player get?”
That is where we feel the truth really rings in this scandal. If anyone should feel embarrassed about these details coming to light it should be Paul Pogba. He was used by his agent to earn 41 million pounds (nearly half the amount of his ‘record-breaking fee’) and his agent will never have to lace up or play a minute of soccer for United.
To say that Pogba would’ve never pulled in that kind of money without Raiola denies the fact that Raiola is employed by Pogba– not the other way around.
No one would argue that an agent isn’t entitled to earn money from his work, but it shouldn’t take an agent making more than 24 clubs combined budget in a single transfer deal to realize there’s something seriously wrong with the numbers.
The contents of this post were brought to you by the gurus over at www.soccercorner.com who are more ethical than FIFA and Mino Raiola combined.