Meet Sonia Souid, Football Agent in France
Sonia has been in the industry for 13 years and has been ranked 15th for five consecutive years in the Choiseul Institute of the 100 people under 40 in France in sport business. We sat down with Sonia for five minutes to hear some of her proudest career moments, as well as what a day in the life looks like as a Football Agent at CSM and she offers advice to women looking to break into the industry.
Can you tell us about your role and what a typical day in the life is like?
I’ve been a football agent since 2010 and I joined CSM in 2013. The best thing about my job is that no day is the same. It’s hard to describe because it is constantly evolving but the one thing that is consistent is the inspirational force of football, which is now practiced all over the world. After 13 years I am still amazed by the positive impact and power of football!
As an agent, I’m there to best negotiate and advise a client, players, coaches and staff, clubs, investors and brands. For example, I can be advising a club owner on the appointment of a new coach, and I can also present them with a serious and ambitious investor wanting to purchase their club. This was the case in 2014 where I negotiated the deal to appoint the first women’s coach at the Clermont-Foot League 2 club in France. Then five years later, in 2019, I was involved in the sale of the Clermont-Foot club which was on the cusp of entering League 1 for the first time. The Club has been playing in League 1 ever since.
You’ve been part of our team in France for several years, how has the industry evolved since you joined and how has CSM helped to shape your career?
I’ve been with CSM for almost 11 years now – time has really flown! There have been lots of highs and some lows too (as with any job!) Being a football agent can be challenging and the competition gets tougher and tougher each year. This has naturally forced me to reinvent myself, to be more creative, visionary and to always try to be one step ahead. CSM has given me the support, stability and the international aura that I need to excel in my career.
From the start of my career I had the vision of working in women’s football… and what a journey we have made in only 13 years. The evolution is dazzling, and I am very proud and privileged to witness it. There is still a lot of work to do but I cannot wait to discover what the next 13 years have to offer
Recognising that you work in an industry dominated by men, what inspired you to become a Football Agent and what tips you give to women to navigate a successful career, especially those new to the industry?
Unfortunately I was not able to draw inspiration from a woman role model when I was thinking about my career so I took advice from my father who is a professional football coach. I was a professional Volley-Ball player, but I had to stop my career very young. At 24, I worked in real estate and realised that I loved negotiating, however, I sorely missed the adrenaline of sport. One day in December 2009, during a family meal, my father told me, “if you like negotiating and you miss sports, why don’t you become an agent?” And in April 2010 I obtained my license from the French Football Federation.
Now, in 2023, I still work in an industry dominated by men, but in the last few years I have seen more and more women embrace this career. It can be a difficult profession to break into so my key pieces of advice to women who want to become football agent are: believe in yourself, never let anyone make you believe that it is impossible, work hard, stay consistent and determined and always stay true to yourself.
What are your three career highlights and why are they important to you?
It’s difficult to highlight only three, however, these are the ones I am most proud of because I felt like I was contributing to something much bigger than myself.
In 2013 I managed to complete the first paid transfer between two French clubs for a woman football player. Paris Saint-Germain bought the contract of French international player Marie-Laure Delie from Montpellier club.
Breaking down barriers between men and women’s football is really important to me. So in 2014 I was incredibly proud to have negotiated the deal to appoint Corinne Diacre as coach for the professional men’s League 2 club, Clermont-Foot. Corinne was coach there for three seasons before becoming the national coach of the Women’s French National Team.
In 2021 when renewing the contract of one of the best woman players in the world, Amandine Henry, with Olympique Lyonnais, I was breastfeeding my six-month old son. Being able to combine an extremely competitive career and my motherhood, twice in the last four years means the word to me.
When not at work, what would we find you doing?
Breastfeeding my second child 🙂 – even though I also do this while I work. I am so thankful to all my interlocutors and collaborators for their kindness towards me and my family over the last three years.