“I make the poor players rich, and the rich players richer.”
The big clubs coming together with the powerhouse TV companies have always been the ones lauded for the boom of football in England.
The launch of the Premier League brought millions into the English game, and led to it becoming arguably the best in the world.
We’ve heard all the names credited for bringing the cash investments in, but it was others who made sure that money made its way into the pockets of the players.
One of the main catalysts was the outlandish and wildly dressed agent Eric Hall, who represented some of the top acts in the music industry before switching to football.
On Monday, Hall passed away at the age of 73 after a colourful career that left a mark on footballers and football clubs up and down the country.
In the 1970s he had associations with Queen, even claiming their hit Killer Queen was written about him.
He worked with the Sex Pistols, arranging their now infamous interview on the Today Show in 1976, and represented T Rex front man Marc Bolan.
Known for his catchphrase ‘Monster Monster’, Hall turned to representing footballers in 1986 after a chance meeting with Steve Perryman.
Hall would go on to build up a roster of clients including Robbie Savage, Tim Sherwood, Dennis Wise, Neil Ruddock and Terry Venables, as the beautiful game moved into the realms of big money.
Goal and appearance bonuses are part and parcel of a football contract in the modern era.
But pre Eric Hall they didn’t exist and the agent from Bethnal Green is credited with bringing them into the game.
As one famous story goes, he went to represent Dave Beasant when he was moving from Wimbledon to Newcastle United.
Hall was happy with his afternoon’s work, securing a £9,000 a goal bonus and a deal that involved £100,000 after 10 goals.
As Hall admitted himself in an interview with The Telegraph earlier this year, the Magpies board were only too happy to sign it.
It wasn’t until after the meeting that Hall discovered that Beasant was in fact a goalkeeper.
In one interview, which you can watch above, Hall admitted to not really understanding football. But he understood how to make money for players.
He famously operated for year’s without an agents license, despite representing big players, before being granted one by the FA.
And was quoted in many interviews when describing his role, as saying: “I make the poor players rich and the rich players richer.”
Hall’s infectious character meant he was held in high esteem by all across the footballing community.
The likes of Sir Alan Sugar led the social media tributes this morning, to the man who called everyone he met ‘Bubula.’
Prior to listening to a podcast involving Jimmy Bullard a couple of years ago, I myself hadn’t heard of Hall.
But the hour and a half spent listening to him on The Magic Sponge podcast showed the character that he really was.
Later in his career he moved away from representing the big names to hosts radio shows on various different stations.
According to Sky News the larger than life character died peacefully on Monday after suffering with underlying health conditions.
The social media the tributes paid to Hall by people from across the football and celebrity world speak for themselves.
He touched many people’s lives and was an important player in changing the football landscape forever.