Home Top Football Agents Share Industry Secrets to Hopeful Newcomers

Top Football Agents Share Industry Secrets to Hopeful Newcomers

Press Release: November 09, 2021

One of the UK’s first ever registered football agents and his business partner, once the youngest agent in the world, have thrown open the doors to their famously secretive industry in a bid to educate budding agents with hopes of working in the beautiful game. 
John Viola, 61, and Phil McTaggart, 41, form 451 Football Consultancy – a boutique Glasgow based agency with a global reach. Since 451FC began in 1994, the pair have broken transfer and wage records in the UK, worked with some of the biggest clubs in the world and represented World Cup and Champions League winners.    
After FIFA loosened strict entry regulations for agents in 2015 meaning nearly anyone could become an agent if they wanted to, they saw an opportunity to use their experience to properly train this influx of new incomers to their industry and created the world’s first online e-learning course for football agents. John spoke about its inception; 
“For years myself and Phil were approached by people who wanted to learn how to do our job, we were always happy to help and gave advice where we could, and we even took a few guys under our wing to mentor them. 
When the rules changed in 2015, we saw a great opportunity to take this advice and finally get it down in writing. We wanted to give all the new agents coming in a chance to find out the way to, in our opinion, do the job properly, professionally, and ethically.  
It actually started off as a bit of fun, we had no idea how big of a success it was going to be” 
This notion provided the foundation for the founding of the John Viola Academy and its flagship programme The Football Agent Pro Course, designed to give new agents the essential knowledge needed to find success in the practical side of the job.  
“We’ve always been proud of the way the course is laid out.” John says. 
“It’s split into 15 modules based on the most important parts of the job - from recruiting players to how you deal with clubs, and of course including the juicy parts that everyone wants to know about like the actual process of how a transfer works.  
All online, easy to read and done at your own pace, people really have a great time going through the lessons.” 
Both raised in the East End of Glasgow and coming from backgrounds in financial services and working in a bank respectively, Phil always makes a point of emphasising how open the football agent space has become; 
“John and I love using our own story to encourage new agents.  
A lot of people look at the top end of the game and get a feeling that it’s impossible to get into, but it really couldn’t be any more different. We’ve had students from all walks of life take the plunge and make it, from white van men to accountants and everything in-between.  
If you have the right amount of passion for the game, ambition to succeed and hard work ethic then there’s no better time than now to get into the business – and we’re there to give people the best possible chance when they’re ready to take that step.” 
After massive successes in the early years of the Pro Course, the Academy was ready to branch out, and John didn’t hesitate when approached about creating the world’s first university degrees for football agents.  
“An early student of ours happened to be a professor, Vincent English of Longford College. After he got his certificate, he phoned me up and said, listen John, I think there’s a potential for us to create a degree out of this. 
Now that’s not a call you get every day, not one that’s easy to say no to. We had some more discussions and that’s how our MBA and Masters degrees were born.” 
The JVA has since followed the degrees by implementing industry first personal mentoring programmes and hosting unique live training events. All to continue their evolution and offer students the optimal educational experience. 
Does John have a vision of what could come next for the Academy? He laughs. 
“I haven’t given it much thought, a wee guy from the East End of Glasgow giving a talk at 
Cambridge University has a good ring to it…” 
The Football Agent Pro Course has been discounted from £497 to £297 in the JVA Winter Offer. Potential agents can find out more about the John Viola Academy, enrol today or get started for free at www.jvacademy.co.uk 

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Conor Kennedy

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Email: [email protected]

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