FOOTBALL agents fall into the same bracket as politicians and estate agents in the popularity stages.
But the Echo’s CHRIS YOUNG spoke to one North East negotiator who suggests there may be a more noble side to the profession.
WHAT does an 18-year-old lad do after being discarded into football’s dustbin?
The hopes and dreams fostered since joining his professional club’s academy in his early teens are extinguished after being told he won’t be kept on.
After wiping the tears in his eyes, he looks at the options further down football’s pyramid and soon discovers managers want bigger, stronger and more experienced players – not someone who has been limited to youth team encounters and the odd reserve match.
Without the football to fall back on, he takes a job stacking shelves to make ends meet and plays with an air of half-heartedness in the Northern League on a Saturday morning.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of the journey.
Step forward the football agent – vilified by the media yet helping these players get a second crack at fulfilling their aspirations.
County Durham-based agent James Alexandersson insists the vast proportion of his time is spent trying to secure employment for young free agents rather than securing lucrative new deals or transfers for his established professionals.
He believes he offers solace for these youngsters who have had their hopes built up and then dashed when it is time to hand-pick the future professionals from the academy system.
Read Chris’s feature in full in today’s Echo.