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'Agents are sucking tons of money out of football' - West Ham co-owner calls for crackdown

The Hammers chief David Gold says that the role of agents in transfers is spiralling out of control.

WEST HAM CO-owner David Gold insists the influence of agents in football must be clamped down upon, as ‘they are starting to run football’.

The Hammers spent over £100 million ($131m) in the summer, securing the likes of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Lucas Perez.

Gold, though, says that the role of agents in transfers is spiralling out of control, amid reports that the Premier League is looking to tighten sanctions on the influence of representatives.

Indeed, the league are believed to be looking at proposals including an exam, and a requirement that agents prove their bank account is located in the UK.

And Gold is adamant that he and the Hammers will support any such sanctions.

They are certainly sucking tons of money out of football,” he said.

“We are all trying to pay less, they are doing nothing for football. I can’t believe it is even a discussion. Other than agents, everybody else is against them.”

Questioned on whether agents were a disruptive influence, he added: “That goes with the territory. They are certainly doing that.”

Mino Raiola, the agent of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, is one of the most high-profile agents currently operating in the sport, and pocketed £41 million ($53.7m) from the deal that took the World Cup winner to Old Trafford from Juventus.

Jorge Mendes, meanwhile, represents both Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, among others, and the contracts of his clients are reportedly worth over £1 billion.

Gold, thus, is hopeful that the influence of such professionals can be stopped across the globe.

“The FA certainly is line with our feelings that something has to be done,” he said. “From the beginning it’s not been something that we want and they don’t want.

Now it’s FIFA and UEFA we need to come into line and we are hoping they come up with something.”

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