The World’s Most Powerful Sports Agents 2019: Soccer’s Jonathan Barnett Takes Over At No. 1

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Gareth Bale is a valuable client for Jonathan Barnett, No. 1 on this year’s list of the most … [+] powerful sports agents.Harry Trump/Getty ImagesCash has been flying across the soccer world this year, with the summer transfer featuring a €126 million deal for a player who had not yet turned 20: João Félix, now with Atlético Madrid. With all that money sloshing around, it should come as no great surprise that soccer players captured the top three spots on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes in June.It should not be especially surprising, either, that the world’s most powerful sports agent now comes out of soccer.Having negotiated more than $1.28 billion in active contracts and transfers fees, with his maximum possible commissions exceeding $128 million, Jonathan Barnett climbs to No. 1 on Forbes’ list, from No. 3 last year.Jonathan Barnett, cofounder and chairman of the London-based Stellar Group, climbs to the top spot … [+] on the list of the most powerful sports agents.STELLAR GROUPBarnett, co-founder and chairman of the London-based Stellar Group, has represented some of Europe’s top soccer players for more than two decades and also played an instrumental role in bringing cricket to South Africa—at the behest of Nelson Mandela—after the end of Apartheid. Barnett oversees Stellar’s list of more than 200 clients and has negotiated some of the biggest deals in soccer, including Welsh winger Gareth Bale’s massive $33 million-a-year contract with Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid’s $100 million-plus deal with Saúl Ñíguez.Barnett isn’t the only one having a great year, either. The 50 members of Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful sports agents had negotiated more than $37.5 billion in active player contracts, netting $1.75 billion in maximum possible commissions, as of our cutoff in August. Those figures are up from $33.4 billion and $1.6 billion last year.Full List: The World’s Most Powerful Sports AgentsScott Boras in February 2018.Billie Weiss/Boston Re

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