JOHANNESBURG – The rooting out of the “cartel conduct” among soccer agents uncovered by the Competition Commission will lead to players and coaches getting better deals in their transfers.
That’s the view of the head of communications at the Competition Commission, Sipho Ngwema. This comes after the commission uncovered collusion among 37 intermediaries who negotiate transfer fees and contracts for football players and coaches.
The investigation revealed that the South African Football Intermediaries Association (Safia) and its members agreed to charge players and coaches a standard 10% commission fee when negotiating transfer fees and contracts on their behalf, and to charge players a standard 20% commission fee when negotiating commercial contracts.
Quality Talent Sports (Pty) Ltd, owned by Tim Sukazi, pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them. QTS paid a fine of almost R115 000.
They will co-operate fully in the prosecution of the other accused companies, which includes testifying before the Competition Tribunal.
“What will happen is that QTS will stop this practice,” Ngwema said. “Ultimately this will lead to the stamping out of this practice. This will lead to players and coaches being able to shop around for a better deal, instead of having to deal with fixed prices. The effects will be far-reaching, because it will impact on the money clubs pay and that players receive. It will lead to a lot of happy people.”
The investigation started after Safia laid a complaint against Safa, which, acting on the instructions of Fifa, sought to regulate the affairs of football agents, including reducing the 10% commission to 3%.
Safia alleged that the 3% cap introduced by Safa constituted fixing of an agent’s fee, in contravention of the Competition Act. It was during that investigation that the commission obtained evidence that Safia and its members may have engaged in collusive conduct by fixing the commission they charged.
The accused in the matter are:
Safia; Pro Sport International; Siyavuma Sports Group; The Players Club; Bidvest Media (Pty) Ltd, trading as MSC Sports; Quality Talent Sports; Prof’ Sionalz Marketing and Management; JDR Consulting; P Management; Musawen- kosi Arthur Dlamini; Tebogo Taunyane Hlapolosa; GS Sports Agency; Erika Bester; Sierra Sports Agency; KN Sports; Bheki Khathide; Liberate Resources Sports Management; Eclectic Sports Management; On the Ball Sports Management; Touchline Sports Management; True Ambition Sports Management; Eliot Nzama; Ben Kokela; ETM Sports Management; Sports Midfield Agency; Alex Bondarenko; Mede8 Sports; New Generation Sports Management; Abelsam Sports Management; Cape Colosseum Management; Sipho Shaven; MVP Sports Management International; Modhouma Holding; Gladwin Mpho Diokane; Vasili Barbis; Phelele Mkhize; and MS Sport Management.
“It encourages someone who owns up and undertakes to assist the investigation and prosecution, not waste our time and valuable resources. In turn, QTS has been able to negotiate a palatable settlement that takes into account that they have shown remorse and regret their unlawful actions,” competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said.