THE SPORTS AGENT: SKY ANDREW
Company: Skylet Andrew
Clients include: footballers Jermaine Pennant, Jay Bothroyd and Leroy Lita, and cricketer James Anderson
I was a table tennis player originally. I’d been training with the national table tennis team at Lilleshall and Sol Campbell was there at the FA School of Excellence with the Under-16s. Anyway, we got talking one day and realised that our families lived right across the road from each other. When he left Lilleshall, he asked me to help him and as I was coming to the end of my table tennis career, it went from there.
In the early days I was essentially just helping him to organise his life, giving him advice, and taking him to meet a few people because he was quite shy. But I had a talent for it and I learned how best to communicate with businesses and, obviously, football clubs.
I always say that a good agent is one who focuses on the needs of their clients, who takes the time and makes the effort to get to know them and makes the right, long-term decision for them and not one that’s purely based on money. When Sol Campbell left Spurs, for instance, he had offers from some of the biggest clubs in Europe where he could have earned two or three times what he ended up earning at Arsenal but after weighing up everything, the best thing for him was to sign for Arsenal and that was the decision we took.
As an agent, if you know your client as well as you should do, then you’ll already know their dreams and aspirations and know what’s really right for them. All performers have ups and downs where their popularity changes, so you have to take a long-term view when you’re considering your options and not just follow the money.
I try to instil in my clients that they must honour any contract they sign. If a better offer comes along, you look at it, but to this day, no client of mine has ever broken a contract. It’s a win-win. Their reputation is enhanced and so is mine.
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