Agent Erkut Sogut uses his own experiences to delve into the murky world of football agents in the pacey crime thriller ‘Deadline’.
Sogut is the founder of the Football Agent Institute, and his clients include Mesut Ozil, Kieran Gibbs and Kerem Akturkoglu. He previously wrote a book on agenting: ‘How to Become a Football Agent’ but this is his first novel.
‘Deadline’ uses transfer deadline day as the centrepiece for a story about a secret cabal of super agents called ‘The Table’ who are involved in off-pitch criminal activities.
As the deadline looms the agent Ander Anaia is pitted against another agent David Miller as they try to get their own players signed by Manchester United, but events take a more sinister turn as the characters are plunged into a dark criminal world.
There are plenty of plot twists involving Ander’s kidnapped daughter Joska, his brother the Manchester United manager Marco and David Miller is pursued by Spanish gangsters.
Sokut’s personal experiences of the football agent industry ensure the novel has a plausible feel and the themes of corruption in football, the power of agents, and nepotism are already well known within football circles.
Two investigative journalists identify the criminality within the super agents’ cabal ‘The Table’.
“There are several incidents we think we can link to their meddling. Sex scandals, failed drug tests and more worryingly there have been some instances where players have picked up injuries off the field or on the training ground. The Table manipulates the whole game – it’s not just agents playing hardball to get their commissions, we’re talking big league gambling. Millions resting on whether a player signs for this team or that…”
The agents’ dirty tricks are generously sprinkled throughout the narrative, and we are kept engaged by the contemporary football references and real-life locations.
Sogut crams plenty of action into the short chapters as the story zips along to the final dramatic conclusion. Will the Machiavellian Ander get his way, or will David Miller secure his first major transfer?
‘Deadline’ provides an entertaining insight into the world of the football agent which will keep you gripped right to the end. The inclusion of a double murder is probably where belief is most stretched but for the most part this a believable and captivating football and crime thriller.
Deadline by Erkut Sogut published by CA Publishing. Price: £12.99.
This review first appeared in the June/July 2022 edition of Late Tackle magazine.