Calls for greater player protection

Players need more support and help from being used by unscrupulous and unlicensed agents, according to player agent Brett Norman.

Norman, of the company PFSM, believes many players across Super League and the Championship are not getting the proper advice and assistance that they need, particular with the lack of a players association to call on. League 13 folded late last year.

Norman said there are a number of dubious operators in rugby league who are causing serious damage to the careers of players.

“They are tapping up players signed to agency agreements and messing with the players head,” he told Love Rugby League.

“There has been cases of players breaking down to tears, due to the pressure being put on them by these agents.

“These guys are in it just for the money, you don’t become a rugby league agent to make money, the only way you can do that is to back stab players and clubs, tap up players and put yourself first all the time.

“There was an instance recently were an agent blocked his player moving clubs to get first-team football, because the purchasing club wouldn’t pay his fees.

“Quite frankly that’s disgusting and sums up why these guys need to be gone from the game.

“The good agents, which luckily represent the majority of us, become good mates, social workers, agony aunts, advisors and on hand to deal with any situation rugby or personal related for players. 

“It’s not just about negotiating the next contract.”

Rugby league agents in the UK do not have their own union, unlike in the NRL or other codes such as football.

Norman believes a proper agents union would help increase the professionalism in the industry.

“Myself and Kev Batemen, my business partner, recently tried to rally the troops to set up an agent’s union similarly to what they have in the NRL,” he said.

“The clubs support it and most of the agents did to put a really good code of conduct together and squeeze these bad eggs out.

“Hopefully we can make some progress with that in the coming months.”

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