Aurelio de Laurentiis: Agents 'a cancer' on football and not needed

Aurelio De Laurentiis
De Laurentiis was speaking at the Leaders Sport Business summit in London

Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis says agents are a "cancer" on the game and insists players do not need them.

It follows a newspaper investigation that saw Sam Allardyce lose the England manager's job, with agents' roles in transfers also brought into question.

Italian De Laurentiis, 67, who is also a movie producer, said agents "became like a tax" and wanted paying up front.

"In Hollywood, the actor pays [the agent] himself. I don't pay the agent. In soccer, why must I pay?" he said.

De Laurentiis said some transfer deals had fallen through because of disagreements with agents over players' image rights.

"You know, that's a cancer of our domain," he added. "Not every agent. But I don't understand why you need an agent."

However, Mel Stein, outgoing chairman of the Association of Football Agents, believes the same could be said of some club owners and chairmen.

"The fact of the matter is that there are some bad people, but you can't call them a cancer," he said.

"We want to clear it up, and we think we know how."

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