Owner of Portsmouth, Sunderland, Ipswich and Hull's League One rivals hits out at 'weak' clubs over agent fees

Gillingham owner Paul Scally has claimed that League One clubs who pay agent fees are 'weak'.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 8:00 am

Pompey were ranked seventh in the list with their total of £157,012 representing a significant drop from last year’s £220,367.

Hull (£543,238), Sunderland (£406,207) and Ipswich (£341,622) were the biggest spenders.

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However, Gillingham didn't spend a penny, with Scally saying he refuses to pay agents at League One level.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: ‘For the first 10 years I dealt with players or their families, sometimes a solicitor or a representative, but most of the time I dealt with players. They would come in and we would agree a contract. Since agents came in it’s gone downhill from there.

‘I think they either don’t bother coming to us because they know I don’t like agents.

‘I’m not going to pay them a fee or will fight them over a fee – or they realise that they’ll get their player in the shop window, we’ll develop their player, their player will then have more worth and if they get sold to a Championship club they will get more money

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

‘If an agent represents a player, then the player should pay the agent. I shouldn’t pay the agent. In times of austerity, such as we are, I’m looking at every penny to keep the business going. Why would I waste money on agents? We don’t need them in our industry.

Asked why clubs pay agents vast sums, Scally replied: ‘Because the people that make those decisions are weak.

‘The people that make the decisions to pay the agents are often not the owners; they are often people working on behalf of their owners.

‘They are weak because, invariably, it is not their money and they think the money is just going to keep on coming, keep on coming.

‘They think bringing these players in is going to guarantee them success and promotion. That is why the Championship is in such a mess, because of this frenzy to get hold of the Premier League money.’