“Being underestimated works to my advantage”

Hassnah Elhage (picture below) studied the Master in Sport Management at Johan Cruyff Institute. She wrote this column about her work as a player agent and women’s football for Telesport*

Hassnah Elhage “Being underestimated works to my advantage” - women's footballWomen’s football is growing and that is fantastic! Especially after the Dutch women won the European Cup, I started to notice that there was an increasing interest in the sport. That is a good thing, but due to the increase in popularity, more and more cowboys are coming into the market and want to take advantage of the success without wanting to build a future for this sport.

Now that the industry is developing, the players also need good and professional guidance and I have noticed that there is a demand for specific knowledge. As a lawyer, I studied the Master in Sport Management at Johan Cruyff Institute. This combination made it logical for me to join women’s football a few years ago as a player agent with my own company Elhage Sports Consultancy.

Not everyone in this billion-dollar industry is honest and that is part of the reason why player agents are notorious. However, there is no big money in women’s football yet, so the interests are therefore very different; you work very hard for a minimal fee. The players need transparent and honest guidance. This is how I try to work and I have a strong personal connection with my players in addition to a professional relationship.

I often have the feeling that I have to defend my role in women’s football. There are clubs who find it unnecessary for players to have an agent and are not open to professionalizing the sport. That is why I think it is good to combine the forces within women’s football. If we pool our knowledge, we can develop the sport and retain its charm. I hope that with my contribution, I can help to professionalize the sport and give it its own identity so that it can become a commercial success.

Obviously, the football industry will always be a man’s world, but that is slowly changing. As a woman, I am often underestimated, but this usually works to my advantage. There will be more player agents in women’s football in the future, but we have to regulate it to prevent abuse of the players.

* For information about the Telesport Scholarship Campaign, please click here

Credits Header: By Jip Bosch [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons


Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam uses a rich learning environment that fosters educational tools based on a student interaction model. We aim for a mix of students from sports and business sectors, which also enables students to share their unique experiences and learn from each other. Through ‘Cruyffian’ teaching methods the students will engage actively in creative challenges that require effort, commitment and intuitive thinking. Visit the web pages to find out more about these programs, which we deliver in English:

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