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Dutch player union VVCS is the first organization to be endorsed by its national football association as a trusted intermediary between players and clubs.

The Dutch union is among a small group of FIFPro-affiliated unions which have their own player representation units.

To achieve the approval rating, it met a series of objectives. These included providing continuous education and legal support for players, having insurance cover for negligence and a system of independent oversight.

The official approval rating has been introduced after FIFA relinquished regulation of agents to federations in 2015, dropping a mandatory exam for aspiring player agents.

Since removing the exam – which only a minority of prospective agents passed - the number of agents has increased significantly, according to Louis Everard, director of the VVCS.

“There are more than 280 agents operating in the Netherlands and unfortunately some are cowboys,” Everard said.

"We have proven over the years that we have quality and integrity. We are very proud that this has been recognized.”

Mark Boetekees, legal director of the Dutch federation (KNVB) said it was important to be able to identify the best intermediary groups.

“We needed a new system because now basically everybody can register themselves as an intermediary.”

In the picture, VVCS intermediaries Louis Laros (left) and Patrick van Diemen.