Southgate's agent made nearly £500,000 commission on charity donations

EXCLUSIVE Gareth Southgate’s agent earned nearly £500,000 in commission on funds donated by England stars to charity… ahead of a £3m arbitration hearing against the FA over his contract termination

  • Mail Sport revealed agent Terry Byrne owes money to Southgate and others
  • Byrne is suing the FA with an arbitration hearing scheduled to begin on Tuesday
  • IAN LADYMAN reveals the GREATEST weapon a manager has against a journalist – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

Gareth Southgate’s agent Terry Byrne earned almost £500,000 in commission on money that England players donated to charity before the contract was terminated by the FA.

The 57-year-old’s company is understood to have received annual commission of between 7.5 and 10 per cent on the match fees England stars gave to charity over a 12-year period, in addition to being paid millions by the players for negotiating the squad’s commercial contracts.

As Mail Sport revealed last month, Byrne is suing the FA after they withdrew from a long-term contract with his company 1966 Entertainment to manage the players’ commercial deals five years ago.

Senior FA staff involved at the time claim they did not realise that Byrne’s companies were able to claim commission on the charity donations until informed by Mail Sport.

A private arbitration hearing between the FA and Byrne begins tomorrow [Tuesday], but following a five-year stand-off the case appears destined for court.

Gareth Southgate’s agent Terry Byrne earned almost £500,000 in commission on money that England players donated to charity before the contract was terminated by the FA

Southgate’s agent Terry Byrne (left, pictured alongside football legend Pele) is suing the FA after they withdrew from a long-term contract with his company 1966 Entertainment

Byrne (right) is a hugely experienced football agent who previously managed David Beckham

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The long-running dispute is particularly uncomfortable for the FA as Byrne has been Southgate’s agent since 2016 and has negotiated three new contracts on the England manager’s behalf worth almost £20m, earning large commissions in the process.

Byrne is understood to be claiming around £3m in lost earnings after the FA terminated the commercial deal that had 12 years left to run. Several offers from the FA of up to £500,000 to settle the dispute have been rejected.

In a complex deal negotiated on the players’ behalf by former England captain David Beckham, Byrne’s companies had contracts to manage the national side’s commercial and charitable activities between 2006 and 2030.

1966 Entertainment looked after the commercial element, and in a separate arrangement inspired by Gary Neville, the England Footballers Foundation was set up after the players agreed to donate their match fees to charity.

The Foundation raised over £5m for charity between 2006 and 2018, with the Bobby Moore Fund, Help for Heroes and Well Child among the beneficiaries.

Under the terms of the deal, 1966 Entertainment received 10 per cent of the players’ commercial deals, an arrangement which was bringing in up to £400,000 a year when Beckham and the rest of the so-called Golden Generation were at their peak.

The players’ earning power was at its height before the 2010 World Cup when their combined commercial deals totalled around £4million, but their value dropped significantly after England flopped in the tournament in South Africa and several sponsors including Nationwide walked away from the national side.

In addition to taking a percentage of the England squad’s commercial earnings, Mail Sport has learned that under the terms of the contract, 1966 Entertainment also received commission on the players’ donations to charity, which came from the £2000 match fees they were paid by the FA.

Between 2006 and 2010, the commission was around 7.5 per cent and subsequently increased to 10 per cent so was worth almost £500,000 before the deal was stopped by the FA.

A source involved at the time told Mail Sport that the money was used to fund one permanent member of staff at the Foundation, as well as retaining the services of an accountant.

Southgate is yet to comment on money he is owed by Byrne but the England manager is expected to end their seven-year professional relationship

The Foundation succeeded in raising huge sums for charity with the players personally involved in choosing a range of good causes to support, with a particular focus on children, cancer and the armed forces.

In addition to arranging over 400 personal appearances from England players at fundraising events over a 12-year period, the Foundation also held charity dinners organised by another of Byrne’s companies, Lions and Roses Events. One dinner attended by England players at the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire before they departed for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil raised over £350,000.

England players have continued to donate their match fees to charity since Byrne was dropped by the FA in 2018. The England squad’s Euro 2021 match fees were donated to the NHS and a decision on which charity will receive match fees from last year’s World Cup is due to be taken by the players shortly.

The FA first gave notice to 1966 Entertainment before the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Mail Sport has been told that Byrne initially indicated he would accept a severance package of around £750,000 to exit the deal, but is now pushing for the full £3m value of the 12-year contract.

The FA have already spent around £500,000 in legal fees and other costs related to the five-year battle. Mail Sport revealed last month that Byrne has significant debt to Southgate and other former England stars Joe Cole and Glenn Hoddle after he used their money to fund a disastrous £25m property deal without their knowledge.

Southgate has not commented on being owed money by Byrne since Mail Sport’s revelations, but is considering ending their seven-year professional relationship.

Byrne and the FA declined to comment.


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