Monaco-based Willie McKay is one of the most successful agents in the game
Willie McKay is one of the most successful former agents in the game, brokering huge contracts over the years and pulling the strings to secure some of the biggest transfers in history.
In his career he was involved in 485 deals, including acting for Queens Park Rangers during negotiations to sign Joey Barton on a free transfer.
He has represented Joey Barton, Charles N’Zogbia, Ross McCormack, Pascal Chimbonda and Amdy Faye, among others.
For years he based himself in Monaco, although he now lives in Doncaster.
His twin sons Paul and Jack have gone on to become footballers while his other son Mark followed his career path to become a football agent.
McKay, who was born in Scotland, was one of five men arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting in November 2007 as part of the City of London Police football corruption probe before he was cleared of any wrongdoing 18 months later.
In December 2008, he was given a suspended ban by the FA for breaching regulations by acting for two different clubs in two consecutive transfers of Portsmouth and Manchester City striker Benjani.
His footballing twins Jack and Paul McKay, 22, have been on the books of Doncaster Rovers, Leeds United and Cardiff City.
Social media posts by him and his sons reveal a luxurious lifestyle of fine dining, expensive resorts and relaxation in Monaco and beyond.
Left, football agent William McKay with Leeds and Senegal star El Hadji Diouf and right, his son Mark – who also works as an agent – with his girlfriend Rachel Morse
Mark McKay – who helped West Ham sign Dimitri Payet from Marseille in 2015 – often posts photos from his lavish holidays
The brothers began their football education in France and had offers to go to other academies but settled at hometown club Doncaster when they were 16 years old.
Jack is a striker who has spent time out on loan with the Scottish League One outfit, while Paul plays at centre-back.
In 2016, Leeds United signed the twins, then aged 19, for undisclosed fees on two-and-a-half-year deals from Doncaster Rovers.
In mid-January last year they joined Cardiff City after a short trial with the Bluebirds’ Under-23s. Earlier this month it was announced Paul McKay was joining Morecambe on loan.
McKay’s other son Mark followed in his father’s footsteps and also works as a football agent, helping West Ham sign Dimitri Payet from Marseille in a £10.7million move in 2015.
Mark was the director of the Glasgow-based company Excelfoot Ltd, which went into liquidation in 2017.
Football agent Willie McKay (right) watches The Willie McKay Sports Management Handicap Stakes with his wife
McKay’s son Mark (pictured left and right) followed in his father’s footsteps and also works as a football agent, helping West Ham sign Dimitri Payet from Marseille in a £10.7million move in 2015. He also represents Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye
In 2012 he told the Telegraph that his arrest in 2007 was the ‘lowest point’ of his life and, despite no charges ever being brought, described the deep impact it had both on his family and career.
‘Before I got arrested, I had arranged to meet the police,’ he said. ‘The day before it happened, two helicopters flew over.
‘Someone said to me, ‘There’s two police helicopters, someone must be missing’. No, at 6am the next morning, there were 32 police officers.
‘They were all over the place for two days. They talk about £7 million costs for this investigation but I think you could multiply that by another five.
Mark McKay posted this photo of himself with friends and family on social media in 2015
Left, Willie McKay with wife Janis. His son Mark, right, was the director of the Glasgow-based company Excelfoot Ltd, which went into liquidation in 2017
‘They spent £600,000 coming up here for two days with 32 police, eight vans, motorbikes and helicopters for something that would normally be a knock at the door and two policemen.’
He said players didn’t want to do business with him after his name was linked to the investigation, and demanded a separate inquiry in the City of London’s ‘Operation Apprentice’ investigation into football after Harry Redknapp, Milan Mandaric and Peter Storrie were all found not guilty of tax evasion.
In 2012 he found himself in hot water when police spotted him using his mobile phone while driving down central London’s Pall Mall.
The agent thought that his driving ban had expired, but computer checks revealed that McKay was actually still disqualified. He was cautioned after a bag of cocaine was found in his car.
The agent pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court but was criticised by District Judge Quentin Purdy who him he had ‘arrogantly’ flouted the ban and fined him more than £6,000.
In 2015 it was reported that he had been declared bankrupt at a hearing in Glasgow. McKay revealed assets of just £987, while court documents detailed that he owed £713,292.