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By ESPN Staff

FA admit to limited power over 'third-party' deals

The Football Association admit they have only limited power to deal with third-party ownership despite introducing new regulations to govern agents.

The governing body have unveiled their new regulations designed to govern agents' activities and combat corruption.

The 'Football Agents Regulations' come into effect on Saturday and include guidelines on areas such as dual representation, nepotism and overseas agents.

But the FA claim that third-party ownership remains a thorny issue and that the controversy surrounding players such as Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano must be addressed internationally by FIFA.

Some provision has been made within the new rules through 'registration rights', which is a blanket prohibition on agents owning an interest, either directly or indirectly, in the registration rights of a player.

But the FA insist that while concerns over registration rights must be cleared up, it is FIFA who must take the lead.

Tevez, who is owned by a company fronted by Kia Joorabchian, has been involved in controversial transfers to West Ham and Manchester United that thrust concerns over third-party ownership under the spotlight.

FA director of governance Jonathan Hall said: 'Third party ownership is more a matter for FIFA. It is an international issue.

'It's not purely domestic and that's why we've already been to FIFA alongside the Premier League to raise the issue.

'This is a big issue that needs to be addressed internationally. It will not be solved by a set of FA regulations. But we are taking the steps we can in this matter.

'This is a broader issue than agents and it can't be addressed overnight. It's extremely complicated and very international.

'Action has started to be taken and it will continue when we have a sensible dialogue with FIFA.'

The new regulations are designed to increase transparency stamp out malpractice in the sport by implementing a framework to which all agents operating in England must adhere.

Six new members of staff have been recruited at the FA's Soho Square headquarters to assist in the monitoring and investigating of transfers and suspected rule breaches.

Hall said: 'We believe these regulations are fair and balanced. They are a significant step forward in governing this area of the game.

'These regulations aren't being introduced in isolation. We've brought in more specialist staff to work on monitoring all transfers.

'We've improved our database system and have money to do an audit of transfers through an external specialist agency, which has yet to be appointed.

'If we think there is some wrongdoing then we will investigate. Specialists are in place to examine anything that appears dubious.'

The FA have wide-ranging powers to punish any breach of the regulations, from docking points from clubs to suspending an agent's license, with sanctions imposed according to the severity of the offence.

Hall said: 'The punishment will depend entirely on each case. It ranges from a warning to a ban of some sort, a transfer window suspension or fine.

'An agent, for example, can have their license suspended. In theory there is a whole range of sanctions available to an FA commission and that would include a deduction of points.'

Main principles of the Football Association's Football Agents Regulations include:

Dual Representation: Dual representation will no longer be allowed. An agent will only be able to act for one party in a transaction, a transaction being the combination of the player/buying club employment arrangements and the club/club transfer arrangements.

'Switching' rule: Agents will only be permitted to act for a club in a transaction if they have not acted for the player in any capacity in the preceding two transfer windows. This will prevent agents switching to get paid by a club when they are in reality a player's agent.

'Shadow' clause: An agent acting for a club in respect of a transaction involving a player will not be permitted thereafter to act for any other clubs in respect of a transaction in relation to the same player for the period of two completed transfer windows or one transaction in between, whichever is longer.

Overseas Agents: Will be required to register with the FA when involved in a transaction in England (thereby providing the FA with jurisdiction).

Lawyers: Lawyers will be required to register with the FA when involved in a transaction in England (thereby providing the FA with jurisdiction) save that solicitors will be able to act under certain conditions of exemption.

Nepotism provisions: Agents may not have any involvement in a deal also involving a club where a close family member is employed. This extends the provisions in the existing regulations which prevent an agent acting specifically for the club at which a family member is employed.

Payments: Must be made by the client. This means where an agent acts for a player, he can only be paid by the player (either directly or through salary deduction).

Approaches: Agents will be expressly covered by rules on illegal approaches mirroring those that already apply to other participants.

New standard contracts: The FA will require that certain obligatory terms are contained in all representation contracts.

Companies: A procuring provision will be included so that agents can not hide behind companies.