Super Agent

The EFL today released a statement to acknowledge the concern of various Championship clubs over the roll of ‘super agent’ Jorge Mendes in the Wolves ownership set up.

In the statement (see below), the EFL confirmed there was serious enough concern to warrant further clarification by Wolves. They detailed that the EFL executive will be meeting with Wolves management ‘to reiterate the requirements of our regulations and those of the FA’.

As well as setting up the purchases of their key players, Mendes also advised the Fosun group on the purchase of Wolves in 2016. Mendes first client, as an agent was Wolves’s current manager, Nuno Espírito Santo.

In short, Mendes has been pivotal to Fosun’s moves into football.

The main concern though is that the Chinese have a stake in his agency company, which obviously gives than an advantage of capturing players over any rivals.

Chinese Whispers?

Ironically, the local West Midland’s press (who prefer clickbait stories based on Tweets over proper journalism), haven’t tended to take the actual influence of Jorge Mendes seriously. Other Championship clubs have however, Aston Villa and Derby have both this season whispered their concerns about Mendes’ relationship to Wolves and this week the Leeds chairman, Andrea Radrizzani‏, publicly called out Wolves on Twitter, claiming they broke the EFL’s rules.

He stated that he had ‘long standing concerns regarding agencies having direct influence within clubs that breach EFL rules’.

His aim of ruffling a few feathers was to open up a ‘transparent debate’.

Radrizzani had originally Tweeted: “We have our own problems but we should play in a fair competition. Not legal and fair let one team owned by a fund whom has shares in the biggest players agency with evident benefits (top European clubs giving players with options to buy ..why the other 23 teams can’t have same treatment ? We should play all 24 with the same rules and opportunities (it s enough to google it) @EFL

Wolves fans will probably feel it’s a case of sour grapes. After all, isn’t it, on some level, the same principle of having overseas feeder/sister clubs to create a competitive advantage?

Transparency

However, with the English football governing bodies issues with third party ownership of players and also FFP, it certainly needs some clarification and increased transparency would be welcome.

In the bigger picture, the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea have used overseas investment and *cough cough* creative accounting, pretty much unchecked by the English footballing bodies (judging by their recent courting of Qatar’s FA, it doesn’t seem the FA are too principled when it comes to pound signs).

It has now created an unbalanced status quo. How do clubs compete with the top four or six English teams who have such a financial advantage now, reinforced annually by Champions League payments?

Are Wolves simply trying a novel approach to be competitive in the future or are they indeed breaking EFL regulations?

Judging by the EFL’S rather lax fit and proper person ownership test, a further question is whether the EFL will simply be a paper tiger about it all?

EFL Logo

EFL STATEMENT: WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

At its meeting today the EFL Board considered at length the matter of the relationship between Wolverhampton Wanderers, majority shareholder of the Club, Fosun and Jorge Mendes, in light of the recent concerns raised by a number of Clubs.

It was agreed that the EFL Executive will meet with the management of the Club to reiterate the requirements of our regulations and those of the FA and will report back to the Board in due course.

It should be noted that the Club was explicitly informed in July 2016 of all the requirements it was expected to meet as part of the change of control, and appropriate arrangements were put in place to ensure compliance.

The Club has confirmed that the undertakings given at the time remain in place and are being complied with.

UTV

3 COMMENTS

    • The Leeds chairman was just trying to get a spotlight shown on it, although he’s hardly a great example of how to run a club.

      ‘It was agreed that the EFL Executive will meet with the management of the Club to reiterate the requirements of our regulations and those of the FA and will report back to the Board in due course.’

      Suggests it’s not over yet.

      EFL are hardly the sharpest watchdog, so I don’t think you’ll have any problems…

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