There’s one aspect of Erkut Sogut’s debut novel that, he admits, belongs squarely within the realm of fantasy. Soccer will not be, he needs to emphasise, truly managed by a cabal of superagents who will resort to something — sabotage, match-fixing, kidnapping, homicide — to maintain the sport and its riches of their vise.
All the things else, he maintains, is actual. Greater than that, in actual fact: The plot of his e-book, “Deadline,” a thriller set in opposition to the backdrop of soccer’s switch market, is drawn from firsthand expertise. Sogut has spent 15 years as an agent, and he’s finest identified for his longstanding affiliation with Mesut Özil, the onetime Arsenal, Actual Madrid and Germany playmaker. It’s a world, he stated, that doesn’t demand a substantial amount of poetic license.
The portrait of the trade he paints will not be a flattering one. His characters are, by and huge, hucksters and vultures, charlatans and sharks, working in a sport rife with corruption and addled with cronyism. It’s, although, intrinsically acquainted: Soccer has grown accustomed to the depiction of brokers as puppet masters in sharp fits and designer sun shades, wielding final affect over the fates of gamers and groups.
That picture, although, the one which suffuses Sogut’s novel, doesn’t fairly seize the fact of the trade because it stands now. The likes of Jorge Mendes — consigliere to Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho — could also be forged as rainmakers possessed of enough clout to bend the entire market to their will, however they more and more look like the exception, slightly than the rule. The world of brokers is in convulsion, soccer’s newest battleground between new cash and outdated arms.
Although FIFA’s controversial determination, in 2015, to decontrol the trade opened the doorways to any member of the family or good friend who wished to enroll to characterize a participant — a transfer that turned a chaotic and irrevocably murky world right into a “full free-for-all,” as one agent put it — probably the most important new entrants in recent times haven’t been cowboy operators hoping to make a fast buck however established companies panning for brand new fortunes.