The days of player managers signing rising stars as young as 15 are coming to an end as the agents themselves attempt to lead the biggest overhaul in their industry’s history.
The NRL and Rugby League Players Association is reviewing the Agent Accreditation Scheme amid concerns about the quality of service provided by some “six-and-a-half percenters” to their clients. There are more than 100 accredited managers, but most don’t have a single first-grader on their books.
The role of player managers is finally under the microscope.Credit:Fairfax Media
The summit also discussed the need to ensure strict compliance with the rules. There are concerns some players were being represented by unaccredited agents, and there was scepticism about whether banned agents were continuing to work while supposedly serving suspensions.
The NRL has indicated agents won’t be able to have players and coaches on their books due to potential conflicts of interest. However, the agents believe this could lead to banned agents, or other unqualified mentors, overseeing the careers of one of the biggest stakeholder groups in the game.
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys welcomed the meeting of agents.
“They have got to engage and be prepared to change,” V’landys said.
“Their own destiny is in their hands. The managers I speak to, they want the change. They don’t want to be perceived the way they have been. They want to walk down the street as a player manager with a good reputation.
“I welcome that. I look forward to their input. I’ve spoken to a few of them and they want to be part of the solution. Ironically, it’s for their benefit.”
V’landys said he would ensure any changes to the scheme were rigorously policed.
“There are plenty of reforms we can do, and then it comes down to the enforcement of it,” he said. “I want the player managers to get first crack at it so they can engage in their own solution.”
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