Overview of SOFIA

The 'Society of Football Agents & Intermediaries' (SOFIA) is an independent, representative and professional association representing those authorised 'Association Football' agents and intermediaries, including but not limited to authorised agents and registered intermediaries.

SOFIA actively promotes and encourages best practice, professional integrity, understanding and professional development among our members and aims to improve understanding of matters related to football representation.

Our members help players and clubs in terms of representation and guidance throughout their footballing careers, including: negotiating contracts (both playing and commercial), player promotion, career guidance and assistance with matters related to their professional lives both during and post career.

SOFIA not only provides its members with a representative voice in the football industry but also aims to support its members in their careers, providing professional development, technical information, and protecting their reputation by maintaining high professional standards within SOFIA.

Application for membership of SOFIA is open to all registered agents and authorised intermediaries.

Registered agents and intermediaries with all national football associations that are recognised by FIFA are welcome to apply for membership.

Promoting professional standards among members and the wider football representation industry

Foundations of SOFIA

Following FIFA’s decision to 'abandon' the Players’ Agents license in April 2015, the football representation industry changed quite dramatically for agents, players, clubs, club officials and all those associated with the game. The industry had effectively been deregulated. It was clearly a matter of some urgency and necessity to address the lack of a representative organisation for the football agent and intermediary profession.

Whereas players, managers, coaches and club officials each have a representative body, no 'truly' independent and representative organisation existed for agents and intermediaries in England.

Prompted by a desire to address this issue, the concept of SOFIA entered the planning stages in 2016, with the first drafts being finalised following the January 'transfer window' in 2017.

The initial framework for SOFIA was developed by a voluntary working group of five founding members from various backgrounds, all of whom with extensive experience of the football agency industry. The founding members gave up their time, effort, ideas and knowledge free of charge to a cause that they felt would benefit not only themselves and their agent associates but also the football industry and football participants as a whole.

After several months of planning, preparation and consultation with many football participants and stakeholders from various backgrounds and performing various roles (not solely agents and intermediaries), the working group of founder members developed the core foundations on which SOFIA would be established in the form of an agreed structure underpinned by governing documents including regulations, a members’ charter, and a dispute resolution procedure.

In March 2017, SOFIA was officially launched.

An independent and representative voice for authorised football agents & intermediaries

Organisational Structure of SOFIA

One of the most important factors in establishing the organisational structure of SOFIA was that the organisation was to stay independent in representing the best interests of its members.

Subsequently, the founding members involved in planning SOFIA took the decision that the organisation will be led and managed by a democratically elected subset of the membership called the 'Management Committee'.

It was also decided that the 'Management Committee' will be led by a Chairperson, and where feasible this Chairperson may be independent and not a member of SOFIA.

As outlined in the rules and regulations of SOFIA, any full member of SOFIA can put themselves forward as a candidate for election to the management committee, and it will be the democratic choice of their fellow full members of SOFIA as to whether they are appointed or not.

Elected members of SOFIA's 'Management Committee' are expected to fulfil certain obligations to the members and the organisation (as outlined in the governing document), and as such provision has been made in the regulations that the 'Management Committee' and Chairperson are ultimately answerable to the membership and the regulations.

Members of the 'Management Committee' are elected and/or re-elected periodically, and provision has been made so that terms of service on the 'Management Committee' are limited, ensuring that there is no long-term influence by any one person on the committee.

In the interim period between the launch of SOFIA and the first management committee election by the membership, the founding members formed an interim management committee led by an independent Chairperson .

It was subsequently agreed by the interim 'management committee' that at the time of the first 'Management Committee' election they would either stand down and/or put themselves forward for election. However, the chairperson would have the option to remain for the first elected management committee term to help ensure continuity for SOFIA.

In the interim period between the launch of SOFIA and the first management committee election by the membership, the founding members formed an interim management committee led by an independent Chairperson .

Subsequently the interim 'management committee' agreed; that at the time of the first 'Management Committee' election they would either stand down and/or put themselves forward for election. However the chairperson would have the option to remain for the first elected management committee term, to help ensure continuity for SOFIA.

Encouraging member agents and intermediaries to work on behalf of their clients and employers with integrity honesty and professionalism.

Vision & Values of SOFIA

The aim of SOFIA is "to be recognised by all key participants and stakeholders in Association Football as a representative and independent body for those involved in matters relating to professional football representation activity. SOFIA has an integral role to play in relation to practice, governance, regulations, policy and rules impacting on professional football representation”.

To achieve this aspiration for the benefit not only of the organisation, but also the members of SOFIA and those affect by football agent and intermediary activity, we have several key values, which include:

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Promoting professional standards amongst members and the wider football representation industry.
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Promoting high ethical standards and transparency, while respecting personal, commercial and legal confidences.
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Encouraging members to work on behalf of their clients and employers with the utmost integrity honesty and professionalism.
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Encouraging recognition of our responsibilities (as an organisation, and through the membership) in relation to its related participants' roles, the sport, and the wider public interest.
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Encouraging professional development and education amongst the membership.
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Where feasible remaining truly representative and supportive of the relevant membership.
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Independently supporting and representing members, whatever their professional background.
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Acting as a constructive yet effective conduit for the organisation and the membership, when dealing with external bodies and participants and thus contributing effectively to practices, policy, regulation and governance in relation to football representation.