A tale of two wrangling agents

FOLLOWING Norshahrul Idlan Talaha’s unhappy episodes with two football agents, Timesport speak with two experts on contract signings.

Norshahrul has claimed that he couldn’t contact his agent, Abdul Halim Abdul Shukor (who seemed to have disappeared) for help, while a Thai agent has blasted the former national striker over a botched playing contract.

Susanah Ng of Susanah Ng and Associates, who has much experience in dealing with international sporting disputes, said it would be difficult for Thai agent, Pro24 Sports Management to take their grouse with Norshahrul to Fifa.

That is because of a Fifa circular in 2015 which says the world body would no longer hear contractual disputes involving intermediaries (football agents).

This means any disputes arising out of the contract between Pro24 and Norshahrul would have to be resolved according to the terms of the contract.

“Regarding the dispute concerning Pro24, it depends on the representation contract, the exclusivity,” said Susanah.

“Generally, unless the representation contract provides for exclusivity, a player may have other representatives (football agents) and this often happens in football.”

Apart from Pro24 Sports Management, another football agent, Abdul Halim of OffSide Sports Management, is alleged to have been involved in Norshahrul’s signing for Thai club BG Pathum United.

Susanah said in regard to the commission fees said to be paid to Halim, it is an issue of burden of proof, which is on BG Pathum United, and they can prove that by revealing the recipient of the payment.

Meanwhile, football agent Effendi Jagan Abdullah, who described Halim as his friend, said the latter’s alleged “halt in communication” with Norshahrul is not the right move.

“He (Halim) shouldn’t avoid Norshahrul… at least send him an official e-mail or text that the case is now a legal matter.”

Effendi said Norshahrul, 34, should have ensured that everything is done in black and white.

“Things like this happen when a player signs with somebody but this agent cannot get him a job but then another agent comes along and gets the job for him,” said Effendi.

“But the player must tell the new agent that they need to sit down and talk to the previous agent to get a letter of no objection to safeguard your client.

“We know Norshahrul claimed that Halim had said he would settle matters with Pro24 for him (Norshahrul) but did he get it down in writing?

“Whether it’s true or not, things like this happen easily but the player will have to prove that his first agent couldn’t get him a job, which is why he went to another.

“But did the player give notice, in writing, to the first agent for not fulfilling their contract?

“If he did, there’s a better cause for him to fight the case.”

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