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By ESPN Staff

Agent fees reduced in League deals

Payments to agents by Football League clubs fell by £600,000 in the second half of last year.

The fourth publication of clubs' spending on agents' fees revealed £4.4million was committed to agents between July and December, compared to £5million for the same period in 2004.

Clubs paid agents in 13% of the of the 1,765 player transactions which took place during that period.

Coca-Cola Championship clubs accounted for 85% (£3.7million) of this total, with League 1 and League 2 clubs accounting for 12% (£549,000) and three per cent (£137,000) respectively.

However, 21 clubs did not commit any money to agents.

'By putting these figures into the public arena League clubs have provided the catalyst for a wider debate about the role of agents in football,' said Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney said.

'I am encouraged we have seen a reduction in the amount being paid to agents.

'This issue remains at the very top of The Football League's agenda and we will continue to act in an open and transparent way.'

The Football League are currently drafting new regulations to outlaw dual representation - when a single agent is paid by both player and club during a single transaction - and these will be considered by clubs in March with a view to introducing them before the start of next season.

Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey believes spending more than £150,000 on agents' fees over the six months from July to December 2005 has represented value for money.

Wanderers spent £153,334 during the second half of last year, relating to 21 player transactions, as compared to £380,625 for the transfer or re-signing of eight players during the same period 12 months ago.

Moxey said: 'We always endeavour to keep such payments to a minimum but when signing players from outside the UK the complexities of the negotiations - both with the club and the player - usually result in larger fees.

'We believe the overall figure is a reasonable expense when you consider we brought in high profile players such as Jackie McNamara and Darren Anderton on permanent contracts, plus key players Stefan Postma, Gabor Gyepes and Tom Huddlestone on loan.

'We also extended the contracts of, amongst others, Joleon Lescott and Jody Craddock and some of these deals actually didn't incur any agents' fees at all.'

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan was surprised Newell had spoken out.

'I was surprised he made it as public as that,' he said.

'It's a real serious subject and you need to be really accurate to say anything.

'It's not a flippant subject like most things here but you have to take it really serious.'