Premier League clubs are in danger of facing serious legal action from agents demanding they pay up to £300m owed in fees.
The coronavirus outbreak has thrown the footballing season into disarray and many teams are understood to be withholding payments owed to agencies in the last month.
And the situation could be about to escalate, as those agencies have instructed lawyers with the intention to sue, according to the Daily Mail .
Match postponements mean that a number of smaller clubs are struggling to balance the books and it is understood that many agencies are willing to waive the fees these sides owe.
However, such generosity will not be afforded to the Premier League’s big dogs, who are still in strong financial positions despite the loss of matchday and broadcasting revenue.
As standard, there is no ‘force majeure’ clause in standard three-way agreements between teams, players and agents, meaning that clubs have no way out of contracts due to unforeseeable circumstances such as the coronavirus outbreak.
As such, agencies believe they have the right to be paid in full despite this unprecedented scenario.
Premier League clubs pay far more in agents fees than sides from any other league in the world, splashing a record £260.6m between February 2018 and January 2019.
This mouth-watering sum contributed to over half of the £500m spent on agents fees across the world, while further increases are expected and the total spent by Premier League clubs could surpass £300m when last year’s fees are published.
Liverpool topped the spenders last season, paying £43.8m, while Chelsea and Manchester City paid £26.8m and £24.1m respectively.
Typically, agents are given five per cent of each transaction, which could be a player transfer or a contract renegotiation, but intermediaries are able to push for higher fees if they choose to.
High-profile agent Mino Raiola is perhaps the most notorious negotiator of larger agent fees by ensuring he earns a percentage of his client’s future transfer fees.
For example, Raiola pocketed £41m in commission from Paul Pogba’s £89m move from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016.