FIFA President Gianni Infantino addressed the ECA Member Clubs during the General Assembly in Paris
The European Club Association (ECA) confirmed in March 2015 that a first collaboration agreement with FIFA was signed. The clubs are the lifeblood of football and now their fundamental importance to the global game is being recognised through an agreement with the world governing body: it means recognition, protection and motivation for the clubs whose players light up the international stage. Part of the agreement governs the distribution of club benefits generated by the FIFA World Cup based on the model developed for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments: a total of $209m will be distributed among the clubs releasing players to the World Cups in 2018 and 2022 respectively. Furthermore, the seven-year agreement includes benefits that go beyond the financial: the ECA now has a mandate to promote clubs' interests at FIFA level and develop a collaborative working relationship with FIFA.
FIFA World Cup Club Benefits
The FIFA World Cup club benefits will almost treble under the new agreement. For the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, every club which supplies players for the tournament will receive a proportional share of $209 million, up from $70 million for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The distribution mechanism will be identical to the method used in 2014.
The agreement will see the creation of the FIFA Professional Football Department, composed of FIFA, ECA and player representatives. The new body will serve as a platform to discuss all matters related to professional football, and will make recommendations to the FIFA Committees. ECA now has its strongest ever mandate to promote clubs' interests at FIFA level and develop a more collaborative working relationship. From this point on, any changes to the International Match Calendar or the principles of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players will require explicit consent from ECA. Furthermore, the Club Protection Programme remains in force and will in the future also cover international women's football.