Whilst player agents are a common factor in modern football, Preston haven’t had to worry about that with Alan Browne.
The midfielder had usually represented himself in contract negotiations; no agents, no representatives, no middle men. He had an agent when he first arrived from Cork City in 2014, but then scrapped that part of his football life.
Browne admitted to the LEP in 2018, after signing a new three-year deal, that he was happy with his situation. He had no issues representing himself, and offered comments that now look a little troublesome.
“I felt I was with a club where I was happy and could clearly see the progression,” said Browne. “I thought then I didn’t want to be at any other club so I didn’t see the need for an agent,” he added.
Why is that so worrying? Well, Browne has now signed with an agency. Today, London-based Quorum Sports announced that they are now representing Browne, in what is a big move for the player and North End.
We are delighted to announce that Alan Browne, with over 200 appearances for Preston North End and the Republic of Ireland has joined Quorum Sports.
— Quorum Sports (@quorum_sports) January 16, 2020
There is some concern about Browne’s future to begin with. His current contract expires in 2021, meaning it’s likely North End would sell at the end of the season, to save him going for free.
Having outlined that he didn’t want an agent because he was happy at Preston, signing with an agency inside the final 18 months of his contract should set alarm bells ringing.
Quorum aren’t a huge agency; some of their most notable clients are Oldham defender David Wheather and West Brom talent Dara O’Shea. There are though a few notable members of their team.
Former striker Gary McSwegan is one of their representatives, having previously done scouting work for North End. Ex-Leeds goalkeeper Eric Grimes is also there, having played with Browne for the Republic of Ireland Under-21’s in 2014; he also hails from Cork, and also came through at Ringmahon Rangers, just like Browne.
Imre Varadi, a former striker with Manchester City, Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, and Sheffield Wednesday, is the main name at Quorum Sports, whilst Gordon Cowans and Will Hoskins are also representatives.
There are changes to Browne’s life coming, with a baby on the way, and an agent may simply help deal with things that Browne had more time for in the past. Still, inside the final 18 months of his deal, it’s a situation to keep an eye on.