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Football agent takes 1% pledge

You First Sports’ Gerardo Garcia joins Common Goal

As Common Goal grows, members from all across the football industry are continually joining and making the movement more and more diverse.

Today we welcome football agent Gerardo Garcia from You First Sports to the movement.

Gerardo is pledging 1% of his salary which will go towards Common Goal’s Covid-19 Response Fund – a collective project set up earlier this year to help football for good organizations around the world navigate the Coronavirus pandemic.

We caught up with Gerardo to find out a little bit more about his motivation behind joining the movement as well as his thoughts on the role football agents can have in helping drive social change.

Why have you decided to join Common Goal?

Since I have lived in Mexico I had been looking for an organization with which I could actively collaborate. In Mexico I was able to collaborate with a small football school that had very few resources but I tried to help with talks and any small things I could do.

I wanted to collaborate actively and I knew about Common Goal through Juan Mata, Jürgen Klopp and Paulo Dybala, but also through players in Spain like Vero Boquete or Borja Lasso (You First Sports Client).

When I found out that agents could join as well I did not hesitate for a single moment. It is a movement that hopefully in the future can be normalized in the football industry, I think it is a brilliant idea and any contribution is little in this time marked by the pandemic.

What social issue is most important to you and where do you want your 1% to go towards?

Under normal circumstances I would like to help developing countries, helping the youngest people to have opportunities because they are the ones who need it the most. 

Given the circumstances, I think it would be wise to contribute to the COVID-19 Response Fund. We all have family, friends and acquaintances who are having a hard time in these circumstances so I think it is the most sensible thing to do at the moment.

Football agents don’t always have the best reputation and are often portrayed in the media as only caring about money. How do you feel about this? Do you feel it is an unfair portrayal? 

I believe that many times this image of an agent who only thinks about money is due to misinformation. We are mainly dedicated to defending the interests of footballers, since they are the protagonists of this sport. 

We respect the existing FIFA regulations, we know that work is being done to improve it, and we also defend that our fees cannot be less than 10%. Why? Well, because we believe that there is a sector of competent and serious agents who provide a good service to footballers. 

If our income is reduced our service would be worse for the footballer. We are dedicated to defending the interests of footballers and our fees depend on that. We do not believe that it is a matter of greed but of justice, and we always work from honesty and transparency.

We know that FIFA is working to have a more transparent regulatory framework and this is something that we agree on very much and that is why these new measures are welcome. 

But I do not agree that agents only think about money. We are constantly thinking on how to improve the industry and how to ensure that the player gets a good deal at club level and are well treated by the different football stakeholders. 

Is this portrayal something you think will change/are there a new generation of agents who believe in helping drive positive social change? 

I believe that the figure of the agent has been changing over the last few years. Before, the figure of the agent was more individual and traditional. Now it is evolving towards agencies that provide an integral service to the player.

I don't want to speak on behalf of the rest of the agents but I can speak on behalf of You First Sports, where I do believe that we care a lot about the social environment and we collaborate with different causes. 

Our players are charitable and I think that we agents have to be too. In what way? Each person is free to collaborate as they wish, but I think that the important thing is to collaborate and be aware that each one of us from our position and from the industry in which we work have to be supportive since sport is a very powerful tool to help society.

I think we have to be responsible and help from our position. 

What role do you think agents can play in promoting football as a tool for good in the world? 

This goes hand in hand with the previous answer. The most important thing to have the willingness to help, each one being free to help in the way he wants.

With all this situation of COVID19 we had many players who have collaborated anonymously with associations, hospitals, health centers and others with organizations like Common Goal or like UNICEF.

I believe that the role we have to assume is the one of giving back in the way that each one considers.

What would you say to other agents who might be thinking of joining the movement? 

I would tell them to help. That the main thing is that we help, in whatever way we can. 

I believe that if this movement with its 1% mechanism becomes something standardized within the football industry, we could help a lot of people.

I have decided to collaborate with Common Goal because I very much believe in this movement. I know that I am the first Spanish agent to collaborate with Common Goal, but I hope that I will not be the last. I would like to encourage all the players in the football industry to collaborate with what they can to finally have a better world. 

Everyone has the right of having a decent life. 

Gerardo (right) with client and Mexican international player Gerardo Arteaga.

Common Goal has players, managers, executives, clubs, agents, fans, all together as part of the movement. How important do you think it is that the industry as a whole gets behind the movement? 

For me it is very important. I believe that those of us who work within the football industry we owe it to the people. 

Football belongs to the people, it is the most watched sport in the world. Without all those people who support football, who buy team's shirt, who go to the stadiums, who watch the games on TV, this would not exist. 

Many people who support football are having a very bad time. I think it is our responsibility to give it back to them in some way, and if the 1% mechanism is standardized I think it would be amazing for helping people who are having a hard time.

 I want to support the people affected by the COVID. There are many social causes that can be supported, and the responsibility of industry is to support them all. 

What advice would you give to players who want to use their platforms for social change? 

First of all, I would like to thank all the players who contribute to charitable causes. Having people like Juan Mata or Giorgio Chiellini willing to help is a very important thing for society. They pave the way, they are leaders and that is something very significant that I would like to thank.

To all the players who want to help and don't know how, I encourage them to support causes like Common Goal. 

At You First Sports we share a lot of information about social projects with players. Whenever a player wants to help, we from the agency help them so that they can support organizations that are going to be effective in their work. 

Finally I want to say that if the whole industry collaborates in this movement we would achieve a unique and massive change.