Mikel Ange Ehueni: The inner workings of a complicated industry

As a licensed FFF sports agent for about 6 years, Mikel Ange Ehueni shares his vision of the football player agent profession!

By Yam in Blog

As a licensed FFF sports agent for about 6 years, Mikel Ange Ehueni shares his vision of the football player agent profession! 

Mikel Ange Ehueni

Why did you choose to pursue a career as a player agent?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: What led me to become an agent was primarily my passion for football. I also have a legal background, having completed a master's degree in international business law. During my undergraduate studies, I was curious about the behind-the-scenes of the football world. Naturally, you start to look at this sport differently, how contract management works, and that's what prompted me to deepen my research. Being someone focused on people, I thought we could change things, and do better or differently.

So, when I finished my university studies, I started working as a lawyer, and eventually, I returned to my first love. I obtained my license and have been working at the "Doubled Sports" agency since. We manage the interests of players such as Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Touré, and Gaël Clichy. I am currently in charge of the French territory, but the profession is not limited to a specific area.

Is the exam more accessible if you have a legal background?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: Being from a legal background, the exam was easier for me, but not necessarily because there was a lot of law involved. The first part of the exam is legal, so I didn't have to work too hard on it, but the second part is regulatory and therefore accessible to everyone. Regulations are found everywhere, you have to learn them, understand them, and know how to apply them. It was more in my work methodology that I had an advantage. 

Any advice for future exam candidates?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: Honestly, the exam itself is academic, you have to lock yourself in and learn. The exam is not necessarily related to daily practice. You have to focus and not be distracted if your goal is to obtain the license. It's a bit like what we ask of our players in the end.

According to you, what are the fundamentals for an agent?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: To be an agent, you need perseverance, courage, and strong mental fortitude. Perseverance, because you must constantly dig deeper and never give up, regardless of the dossier or deal. Courage, because you must go out and talk to people, take risks, and have the boldness that is characteristic of today's generation. Strong mental fortitude, because it is 95% disappointment for 5% of moments of joy. We live for these moments.

There are also human and sporting disappointments, and honestly, it's difficult. If you think you're going to come in and make money, it's pointless to do it because it's not true.

Is proximity a key element to recruit a player?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: Yes, in the beginning, you will have a head start because you speak the same language and have the same codes. That's the first step. However, to keep a player, you must know how to work. 

The more the player grows, the more he will understand how football works and will expect competence more than proximity. 

Many agents rely on young, inexperienced agents because they know they quickly create bonds with young players.

Mikel Ange Ehueni

What does an experienced player expect from his agent?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: The player expects results, plain and simple. An experienced player has a life, a wife, and children. It's great if you can be friends, but above all, he wants you to work competently and effectively. 

Why do some agents prioritize money over support?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: When I entered this profession, I asked myself this question. The more you progress in the field, the more you realize that the problem often lies not with agents, but with the players. Sometimes the most deceitful are the players and their entourage. At some point, when you have experienced setbacks and betrayals, you also have a life, and with all the sacrifices required to do good work, you have to think about yourself. It's a time-consuming and energy-draining job.

Moreover, it's a right, all work deserves pay, although in France money is taboo. When I do deals abroad, it doesn't bother anyone that I talk about my commission. There is a lack of loyalty in this field, everything is quite vast. Sometimes you leave the money behind, telling yourself that you are there to support the player, and in the end, you get stabbed in the back. You have to try to secure yourself to some extent. 

Any final words regarding the agent profession?

Mikel Ange Ehueni: The agent profession is neither FIFA nor Football Manager. It's very difficult, but I'm not discouraging anyone. If I'm honest, if I meet people who want to become agents, I'm going to tell them to watch the matches at the stadium or on TV, that's already good.

Now, if you're ready and have an appetite for the business behind the scenes, because it's not just football that speaks, that's not true. If you have a strong mental fortitude and are ready to sacrifice a big part of your life, go for it. Don't start this job for the money. You will only make money if you do your job well. And above all, good luck. And if I end up crossing paths with them and taking one of their players, they shouldn't hold it against me, it's just the game (laughs).

Interview conducted by Abdelwahab Hamed for SportsAgent Institute on March 22, 2022.


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