Interview with Matt Kleinman: Midnight in Middlesborough, Life as an Agent
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
We are joined by long-time agent and co-founder of Sidekick Management, Matt Kleinman.
And today we are joined by long-time agent co-founder of Sidekick Management Matt Kleinman. Kleinman has been an agent for almost 20 years and in his time he's represented a number of footballers, such as Adam Lallana, Lucas Radebe, Mark Fish and Dean Furman.
Matt is also the author of the book, Show Me The Mon£y! –which is an insider’s guide to becoming a top level professional footballer and is meant for parents and aspiring young professional footballers.
In this episode we discuss: tripartite deals, the difference between the winter and summer windows from the perspective of an agent, agents poaching agents, Adam Lallana as a teenager and why players don't want to pay for anything & why that's an issue. Plus he talks about his brush with the FA and the megastar that got away.
5:00 Should we really call them agents?
14:15 Most difficult aspect of closing a deal
19:51 The culture that needs to change
28:58 Agents of clubs
37:30 Adam Lallana as a teenager
43:58 Tapping up between agents
45:55 His FA suspension
53:57 English youth players going to Germany
1:02:00 The player that haunts him
"I'd like to distill the myth that the summer window is the busiest time of the year"
"Football is the only business where you can fall out with people quite badly and in the next window they're calling you up and peace is made because they want one of your players"
"I think it's a crazy situation today because the managers are actually moving more than the players"
On tripartite deals. "Lets not beat around the bush, footballers don't want to pay anything for anything. They want everything for nothing. It's a cultural problem in the game."
"What I do have a problem with is players expecting everything for nothing."
"Let me tell you, it's like the wild west out there, especially since they deregulated the industry."
"The best way to be able to look after a player is to be able to look after his wife."
"So I got on well with players and their families and I loved that. For me that's the most enjoyable thing of my job."
"Glamourous certainly is one adjective I wouldn't use to describe my job."
"If you knew how many times I've been up to Middlesborough to see a reserve game on a freezing cold Wednesday night waiting for a player afterwards because he's doing his hair and I'm waiting an hour, freezing my nuts off and waiting outside like a prostitute and I've got to drive 3 hours back down to London to wake up the next morning and then go again and do it somewhere else. It's not so glamorous."
"That's the most joy you get from this job… is seeing people succeed that you really care about and like.