By Kristan Heneage
Kristan Heneage:What made you get into the profession as oppose to other avenues such as coaching or media work?
Peter Morrison: I first got in to agency work because when I came out of professional football through injury at 23 I didn’t feel that people would particularly take me seriously as a coach nor did I have the profile at the time to go into media.
KH: You came into the industry as an ex professional, do you think that gives you a unique advantage when speaking on behalf of a potential client?
PM: I do genuinely feel that being an ex professional gives me an advantage over agents who haven’t played the game.
KH: The window hadn’t even opened and already some deals were supposedly near completion is it normal for transfers to be organized prior to the window despite not being publicized?
PM: Negotiations often begin outside of transfer windows as clubs can actually sign players outside of transfer windows too but they can’t be registered. This just means they aren’t eligible to play until they have been registered.
KH: January in Football means the opening of the transfer window, are these periods as busy for an agent as Sky Sports and others make out?
PM: That would vary from agent to agent. It very much depends on the amount of players that particular agent represents or deals he may be involved in.
KH: Sky’s Andy Burton regularly claims to be speaking with sources/players/agents, is this true? Do agents actually release information to the media?
PM: Andy Burton is a friend of mine very well connected with the football industry . So knowing Andy as I do I know any information that he reveals [on Sky Sports News] would be as accurate as possible. It’s true that some agents do release information to the media.
KH: With deals sometimes taking weeks to conclude, what’s the longest negotiation you’ve been involved in as an agent?
PM: Renegotiate usually take the longest as transfers either happen in the window or they don’t. Michael Johnson’s contract renegotiation at Man City a few years ago was the longest one I’ve witnessed personally. It took around four months all together.
KH: What’s the most frustrating thing when a player is moving clubs?
PM: As long as the player is happy once he has moved I don’t really find anything frustrating about the process.
KH: The whole industry of Sports management seems almost flooded with agents, does that make your job more difficult?
PM: There are over 450 licensed agents in England now but there are only a handful of credible ones. It doesn’t make any difference with our dealings with clubs as we are very well respected. If anything, it has more of an effect on young players and their families as they have so many agents to chose from.
KH: There are a lot of misconceptions about sports agents, which would you say is the worst?
PM: The biggest misconception is that we are taking money out of the game and not providing a good enough service to justify our fees.
KH: Your company represents a lot of players based in North West, has the money of Manchester City made you re-evaluate what you can ask a club for?
PM: We have a contracts with all our clients and a percentage fee is set within that contract. So regardless of what Manchester City or any other club may have it would never influence the overall fee.
KH: What’s been the most complex deal you’ve ever been involved in?
PM: Stephen Ireland’s move to Aston Villa from Manchester City.
KH: To be a licensed football agent you need to pass a Law based exam, is there anyway you’d reform the process?
PM: There are many ways in which the current licensing process could be reformed but generally it has more to do with who is allowed to take the exam in my opinion. FIFA have now decided to deregulate agents as of November 2011 so the next ten months should be quite interesting.
KH: With players becoming more vocal on Facebook and especially Twitter, do you think it’s a good or a bad thing?
PM: I think Facebook & Twitter are very powerful tools and used in the right way they can be a welcome addition to the sports industry.
KH: And finally any tips for our readers in regards to January business?
PM: David Beckham, David Bentley, Robbie Keane & Emanuel Adebayor all seem like they may be on the move. They will good additions to someone’s squad during January in my opinion.