Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney is "encouraged" after the latest report showed a drop of almost 30% in fees paid to agents.

The latest Football League Agents' report revealed that £5.7million was shelled out by clubs to agents between August and December last year, compared to £7.9million in the same period last season.

Mawhinney said: "Given the severe economic recession, it is encouraging to see these figures declining."

He added: "Part of this decrease is likely to be a consequence of the new agents' regulations introduced by the FA.

"These prohibit clubs from making one-off payments to players which they then use to pay their agent's fees. The upshot is that, in some cases, agents' fees will have been absorbed into player salaries instead."

Although the number of player transactions - new registrations, transfers, contract updates, contract cancellations and loans - dropped from 1,913 to 1,650, the number of those transactions where clubs committed to pay an agent more than halved from 283 to 141.

And 24 of the clubs made no payments, an improvement on 19 from the previous year.

However, all of the clubs in the Coca-Cola Championship did make payments, along with 14 in League One and 10 in League Two.

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