As we welcome football agent Chris Butcher to the Common Goal family, we explore whether it’s time to tackle the preconceptions associated with being an agent in the modern game.
The term ‘football agent’, is one that brings with it a lot of baggage. In recent years agents have often been portrayed as a negative force in the game — the common perception being that they are driven only by financial gain.
However, despite the common perceptions, there are those in the industry who have been doing their part for football for good initiatives around the world.
Football agencies Spielerrat and Sam Sports are both businesses that pledged their support to Common Goal in 2017 and continue to be active supporters of the movement.
And, by joining Common Goal, the latest agent to join the movement — Chris Butcher — hopes to show that there is another side to football agents, a human side.
Butcher joins Common Goal as a supporter and is keen to give something back to the game that has given him a livelihood…
Why have you decided to join Common Goal?
My wife and I feel very grateful for the many privileges life has offered us. We found in ‘Common Goal’ a global movement where people, like ourselves, connected to the football industry and pledged 1% of their profit as a small act to support local communities through social action.
There is a preconception about football agents being greedy and only motivated by money. How do you feel about this?
Football is a global passion and the world’s media cover this sport which puts all of us under the spotlight.
It is true that some people in this industry have put financial interest ahead of other concerns and this has resulted in this perception of agents. But I believe many of those involved in football feel the responsibility to find ways to be socially responsible and change this perception.
‘Common Goal’ is one way people can choose to join the many others in the football industry who have led by example giving back to tackle social problems.
Is this perception something you think will change and is there a new generation of agents who believe in social change?
I think this is something that is already changing. Many in the industry have started taking action, some with small acts and others with greater action.
It only together that we can make a difference.
Many of the up and coming agents are seeing that the market and players are changing. Empathy is now key to being a good professional — whether you are a football player, a manager or an agent. When you connect with empathy in your work life it extends beyond the field into the social realm and that is when people take action and see the importance of collective social action.
What role do you think agents can play in promoting football as a tool for good in the world?
Football is played all over the world by people in all walks of life and it can be used as a tool to empower people and bring about positive messages and actions all over the globe. Agents can lead by example using their influence to get their players to know about initiatives such as Common Goal.
What would you say to other agents who are thinking of joining the movement?
Join Common Goal, your players will be proud of your actions!! Let’s lead by example and inspire others in the football industry to give back some of the benefits and positivity this game has given us. This way we can ensure we have a positive impact on the world
Common Goal has players, managers, presidents, clubs, and now agents. How important do you think it is that the industry as a whole gets behind the movement?
All industries are becoming more socially & environmentally responsible. I think it is a great opportunity for football to give back to the community and drive positive impact.
What advice would you give to players who want to use their platform for social change?
1. Be grateful for all you have achieved and all you possess
2. Connect with your purpose and values, remember why you got here in the first place: your passion for football.
3. Lead by example, find an initiative (like Common Goal) that connects with your values and support social change by giving back a little of what football has brought you.