WHAT have you done during lockdown?

Smashed a dozen boxsets? Got into baking? Or maybe you set your sights on becoming a football agent?

For Weymouth man Jordan Allen, the latter is certainly true.

Allen, 24, works full-time for a sub-contracting firm, dealing with meter billing for Wessex Water.

Immediately after clocking off, he turns his attentions to the high-octane world of football agents.

“I work from seven til four Monday to Friday,” he told Echosport.

“As soon as I’m back I’m on football until 10 o’clock at night – it’s never ending.

“I had a manager, on Tuesday, discussing a deal until 10.30 at night. It’s non-stop.”

Allen’s roster includes players with Champions League experience, title wins in Scotland and Premier League pedigree.

Allen also oversaw former Cheltenham and Swindon winger Jermaine McGlashan’s move to Cyprus side Akritas Chlorakas.

At National League level, Allen facilitated Gold Omotayo’s move from Yeovil to Halifax and is currently working on another switch for the forward.

His meteoric progress into what is often unfairly seen as a shady business has been mentored by famed Scottish agent John Viola.

In a career stretching 25 years, Viola has represented World Cup and Champions League winner Roberto Carlos and dealt with Portugal superstar Luis Figo among many more.

Viola’s knowledge has been key in Allen’s inspiring adventure.

The Glasgow-born impresario, behind the 451 Football Consultancy, has helped set up two degree courses designed to coach future agents into the industry.

“I signed up during lockdown to try and expand my horizons,” Allen said.

“I’ve always been involved with football, playing and coaching, and I took the course.”

Uniquely, anything remotely similar to these courses has never been devised before.

Students can choose between the Masters or a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in football agency.

Viola’s degrees boast accreditation from the International Telematic University UniNettuno in Rome, a distance learning establishment.

Through its duration, students earn European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System credits – an accepted calculation of academic qualifications.

And the expertise of Viola proved an irresistible lure for Allen, who enrolled without hesitation.

“John’s been brilliant, he’s coached me through all the way,” he said

“We got on really well and after that I went on board with him. I’ve been working with him for four or five months.

“He’s worked at the highest level with some of the Galacticos at Real Madrid and given all his knowledge to me – it’s worked wonders.

“I’ve secured transfers for players in England, taken players from England abroad and been dealing with two or three Premier League players. It’s mad!”

But Viola’s degrees have a wider, twofold purpose in mind.

Firstly, he seeks to educate would-be agents in the ethics of the trade, washing off their tag as the bad boys of football transfers.

Secondly, and more importantly, to prepare his understudies for strict new FIFA regulations on player agents as concerns over lucrative commissions, and more, grow.

FIFA’s aim is to cleanse the profession of poor standards and ethics, despite uproar from ‘superagents’ such as Mino Raiola over their insistence on mandatory licenses and greater education.

Allen’s ability has convinced Viola his course can change negative stereotypes of the business.

“Jordan has been an outstanding success,” he said. “This lad has put his heart and soul into it.

“He’s a manager, full-time, and has eight staff underneath him but he has put in some amount of effort.

“So much so, he’s taken players abroad, signed up four or five players and he’s dealing with a Premier League player trying to get him a move right now.

“It’s the quickest progress we’ve seen from any of our students. It lets people see there’s good in the youth of this world.

“And B, this industry we’re in, that there’s actually good people in it.

“We’ve been doing it for years, transforming people. We’ve taken a doctor to be an agent, a businessman, a white van man – we could go on and on.

“But Jordan really tickles my fancy because he’s young. The amount of effort he puts in is immense, and it’s paid off.

“It normally takes a year to get to the level of becoming an agent.

“But in the period of just over four months, he’s done more than I’ve seen than any of the (students) I’ve been involved with.”

Allen still finds time to play centre-back for Portland Panthers on a Saturday and for the Famous Old Spa on a Sunday.

He has no plans to quit his day job but hinted at an exciting future.

“It’s something I’d like to move into further down the line,” he explained.

“I enjoy the job I already do, but obviously I’ve got aspirations to turn this into something and work with John or start my own company up.

“The main aim for me is, if I can, look after as many of our local lads as possible and take them on, but working worldwide as well, like I already do.”

Lockdown has been a struggle for most people.

Yet, through it all, Allen has added a different dimension to his life and looks set to make great strides as a football agent for years to come.

Maybe we’ll all think again before turning on our next boxset?


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twitter: @EchoSportNeil