The life of a football agent is often clouded with uncertainty and riddled with dead ends in what is described as a ‘very ruthless business’.
Kenneth Asquez, Gibraltar’s top football agent, however, has demonstrated that, with hard work and perseverance, success can be attained at the end of the road.
Mr Asquez is an FA Licensed Player’s Agent since 2003 and holds a Masters in International Sports Law from Anglia Ruskin University. He founded his company, SMILE, in the same year and has gone from strength to strength in establishing his reputation across top clubs around Europe.
Mr Asquez’s name is well known around the Premier League as a reliable football agent who has a thorough knowledge of European leagues, especially Spain, Portugal and England.
He is now in close relations with several elite clubs, but it was not so long ago that he was on a tight budget and travelled around to establish himself.
BECOMING AN AGENT
Mr Asquez played for local side Gibraltar United and was involved in various positions within the club, including head coach and president.
Previously working as a banker, he was inspired to ‘follow his dream’ by his cousin, Daniel Bugeja, who succeed as a musician for Melon Diesel.
“Sometimes we can be accused of living in a fishbowl in Gibraltar,” he said. “But when I saw my baby cousin play a gig in Madrid in front of thousands of fans I knew that I wanted to follow my own dream.”
Mr Asquez went abroad often to watch matches and establish connections with the top officials at the different clubs ranging in level around Spain and Portugal.
“It was very tough in the beginning and it involved driving around a lot,” he said. “I planned a strategy where I could establish a reputation in Spain and Portugal and then bridge that to the Premier League, which was my ultimate aim.”
Mr Asquez said that he is always looking for a particular player profile that comes from the Iberian leagues, but would be suited to the Premier League.
“Gibraltarians have a huge advantage in this area because they are well versed in the Iberian and English leagues, not to mention our bilingualism,” he said. “We are born and raised with the British culture, but we also have full knowledge of the Spanish culture which British agents do not have. Certain deals become bottlenecked due to culture differences and Gibraltarians can bypass all of that to come to an understanding.”
Mr Asquez described the summer transfer window as ‘mayhem’ and this year he spent a whole week with a Premier League manager coming up with a list of potential signings.
Asquez pulled out his phone during the interview to reveal a Premier League Manager who had been ringing him at the early hours of the morning to try and complete a transfer.
“This sort of relationship with a top club is what I have been working towards for my entire career,” he said. “My relationship with this Premier League club began around four years ago when I secured a top goalkeeper for them on a free transfer.”
Asquez said that having good relations with a club is a ‘marathon race’ and not a sprint to try and make a quick buck.
“It is vitally important to maintain