Statement from the Agent Accreditation Board in relation to player agent Paul Connors.
The Agent Accreditation Board (AAB) has found player agent Paul Connors to be in breach of Clause 4.1 of the Agents’ Code of Conduct, which prohibits an agent from providing a benefit or other thing of value to a Player in anticipation of the Player signing a Standard Player Agent Agreement.
The AAB had provided further guidance regarding these provisions in previously published Guidelines which outlined that Agents are prohibited from arranging athletic training at no cost to a Player who is not a client.
It was found that Mr Connors had facilitated and overseen football training sessions which included both clients of Connors Sports (‘Connors’ Players’) and Players that had not yet signed with any management company (‘Unsigned Players’).
Whilst the training sessions, as arranged, are currently permitted under the Agent Regulations for the Connors’ Players, they were not permitted in the case of the Unsigned Players.
In determining the appropriate penalty, the AAB noted that the relevant rules are a critical part of the Agents’ Code of Conduct and as such any breach of them must attract a sanction.
In determining to suspend a portion of the sanction, the AAB noted that Mr Connors has a long history of good behaviour under the regulations, at all times has taken responsibility for the breach and has co-operated fully with the AFLPA investigation.
After considering all of the circumstances, the AAB has sanctioned Mr Connors with a fine of $7,500 ($5,000 of which is suspended for a period of 24 months). Mr Connors has admitted the breach and accepted the sanction.
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