British newspaper, The Daily Mail have a piece up today about sports agents making the most of social networks to befriend young potential sports stars.
With particular reference to football (soccer), agents are utilizing the internet to scout potential players, develop relationships and yes, eventually sign them. Frankly, this shouldn’t be surprising, we all use the web to develop relationships and generate business. Where it becomes an issue is when you realise many of these players already have contracts with other clubs. In most professional sports, approaching players without the consent of the clubs, and in young players cases – the parents – is illegal.
While sports associations aren’t able to do anything to prevent agents from pursuing young players via the sites. The FA (Football Association in the UK) have set up a whistleblower telephone line for players to inform the FA of any approaches from cunning agents.