Thu | Dec 3, 2020

‘Be realistic’ - Football agent urges local clubs to lower unreasonable demands for players

Published:Tuesday | October 20, 2020 | 12:11 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
JUREIDINI
JUREIDINI
PRICE
PRICE
In this file photo from March 2017, then Boys Town forward Shamar Nicholson (front) beats Tivoli Gardens’ Kemar Seivwright to an aerial ball in their National Premier League match at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex in Kingston.
In this file photo from March 2017, then Boys Town forward Shamar Nicholson (front) beats Tivoli Gardens’ Kemar Seivwright to an aerial ball in their National Premier League match at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex in Kingston.
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Football agent Horane Brown of Jasports Multimedia says that local clubs should lower their expectations when it comes to negotiating transfer fees for players who are seeking to ply their trade overseas.

Brown, who represents players from Arnett Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, Waterhouse, Dundeholden, and Humble Lion, says several clubs in the United States, Belgium, and Finland are paying attention to Jamaican players.

But he says that unreasonable demands from local clubs during transfer negotiations are hindering some of the deals, which has seen some players not being able to maximise their potential by playing abroad.

Brown says that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for agents to secure clubs for players as the lower-tier market has been stagnant, with clubs reluctant to spend big, and not many loan deals are being offered.

He says that clubs should be more realistic in their approach as the reality of the present climate calls for shrewd and pragmatic decisions.

“Based on where we are at in terms of our local market, we can’t be holding out because we haven’t developed our product to a certain level as yet,” Brown said. “I have had situations where the club is asking for transfer fees of over €200,000 (approximately J$34 million), and this is one of our biggest problems.”

He said that the National Premier League was off in terms of getting the respect that demands high-value negotiations and that it was with this premise, that the agent is urging the clubs to look at recouping large fees after the future sale of their homegrown talent.

In recent times, many Jamaican footballers have moved to the United States to secure more lucrative deals.

One such league is the United Soccer League, the second-tier division in the US that has numerous Jamaicans playing professionally. There are also a number of Jamaicans such as goalkeeper Andre Blake, Cory Burke, Alvas Powell, and Oniel Fisher in the top tier, Major League Soccer.

“A lot of times when MLS and USL clubs evaluate our ballers, they are looking at the salary that the player gets in Jamaica,” Brown said. “So if you are paying a local player $40,000 per month to play here, you can’t then want €250,000 (J$42 million) or US$250,000 (J$36 million) for his transfer fee. The overseas clubs know that can’t work.”

Harbour View Football Club General Manager Clyde Jureidini says Jamaican clubs depend heavily on international transfer fees as they have very little resources.

Jureidini says local clubs always try to get the best value for their players but says that the North American clubs, in particular the US, have tried to get players for less and sell them for high profits, with the parent club benefitting little or not at all. He says the US clubs only pay real value for their players or superstar players coming out of Europe.

Humble Lion coach Andrew Pryce shares Jureidini’s opinion as he believes that clubs should be able to get the best value for their players, which, in turn, would allow them to reinvest for future developments.

Price, who oversaw the move in 2017 for Boys’ Town forward Shamar Nicholson to NK Domžale in Slovenia, says Europe has always been a better option in contrast to the US as he believes that the Europeans take a more practical approach to negotiations.

“The European clubs understand the situation better and have more wherewithal with which they can deal with African players and Asian players,” he said. “With that, they understand the needs of leagues like those in Jamaica that require transfer fees to continue development and continue churning out players. If we don’t get money to reinvest into the respective programmes, we can’t continue to turn out the talent that we have.”