- © RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov
© RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov
MOSCOW, March 27 (R-Sport) - The Russian FA is urging Premier League clubs to refrain from soliciting agents in an attempt to help poorly funded sides avoid unnecessary outlays.
When players switch clubs in Russia, their agents often receive payments from both their clients and the teams in a controversial practice known as double representation.
"The RFU recommends a termination of agreements between clubs and football agents if there is no significant, reasonably justified or extraodinary reason to continue them," said the FA, also known as the Russian Football Union, on its website.
In 2009, then-FA president Vitaly Mutko said the practice effectively helped bankrupt several clubs including second-tier side Zvezda Irkutsk.
"The RFU considers the use of football agents by Russian football clubs economically unjustified and bereft of any commercial aim," the statement said.
Most clubs already employ marketing staff, making agents all but reduntant from that side of the process, the FA said.
"Due to the presence of on-staff specialists at football clubs, such marketing activity does not require incommensurate spending."
Double representation is also thought to encourage corruption, with club officials quietly taking a certain percentage of the agent's artifically high fee.
Many clubs in Russia are at least in part funded by the taxpayer.
Current FA president Nikolai Tolstykh has led a campaign to clean up Russian football since being elected to the post in September.