Worldwide spending on commissions to agents involved in the international transfers of players has reached a record high of $653.9 million (£509.66 million) this year, soccer's governing body FIFA said in a report published on Wednesday.
FIFA said that 80% of the total — which was already 19.3% more than during the whole of 2018 — was paid by clubs from Italy, England, Germany, Portugal, Spain and France combined.
It added that Portuguese clubs stood out as they have spent almost half as much on commissions — $78.1 million — as on transfers themselves — $181.9 million.
FIFA is planning to place a cap on agents' fees as part of a wide-ranging reform to the transfer system.
In October, the FIFA Council approved a proposal to limit the amounts to 10% of the transfer fee for agents of releasing clubs, 3% of the player's remuneration for player agents and 3% of the player's remuneration for agents of buying clubs.
FIFA's report said that, of the more than 17,000 international transfers of male professional players this year, at least one agent was involved in 3,557 of those.
It said that in more than 90% of cases, agents received commissions under $1 million, with figures of between $10,000 and $100,000 being "the most common scenario."