ECA

FAQ

General

QWhat is ECA?

The European Club Association (ECA) is the sole, independent body directly representing football clubs at European level. It replaces the G14 Group and the European Club Forum, both dissolved at the beginning of 2008.

QWhen was ECA created?

ECA was fully recognised by UEFA in a formal Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed on the 21st of January 2008.

QWhat is the role of ECA?

ECA exists to protect and promote European club football. ECA's role is based on four pillars: representation, participation, cooperation and service. Accordingly, ECA ensures direct representation of football clubs to safeguard and promote club interests on European club football matters; it has a high level involvement in the decision making process of European football governing bodies; it is committed to play a major and constructive role in European football, together with UEFA, FIFA, leagues, players and the EU; and offers knowledge sharing, information and services to member clubs on European club football matters.

QWhat are ECA's objectives?

ECA's Objectives are the following:

  • to safeguard and promote the interests of European club football in particular, and club football in general;
  • to represent the interests of the clubs as employers and to act as a social partner where appropriate;
  • to contribute to the healthy development of European club competitions organised by UEFA, by taking part in the relevant decision-making process;
  • to contribute to the good governance of European football, in particular by participating in the appropriate bodies established within UEFA;
  • to foster the exchange of information and expertise between clubs and other football stakeholders;
  • to support and uphold the sporting values and principles on which European football is based;
  • to maintain contacts, cooperation and negotiations with any football-related organisations, or with any relevant public and private institutions as well as with non-member clubs.
QWhat are ECA's main achievements?

During its eight years of existence, the ECA has notably achieved concrete results in the following topics:

  • 'double-headers' for international games
  • Financial Fair-Play: agreed on principles and measures to improve financial fairness and long-term stability of club football across Europe
  • limited release of players for friendly matches of national teams
  • limited number of qualification matches for both UEFA's EURO and FIFA World Cup
  • clubs' participation in the benefits of EURO and World Cup for the release of players
  • players' insurance valid for all matches mentioned in the international calendar including both official and friendly matches
  • reinforcement of the clubs' involvement in UEFA's decision-making process
  • two ECA Club Representatives in the UEFA Executive Committee
  • creation of the FIFA Professional Football Department
QWhat is the relation between ECA and UEFA?

ECA and UEFA's good relationship is reflected in the new Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2015 at the 14th ECA General Assembly in Stockholm. This new agreement paved the way for a fruitful relationship between European clubs and Europe's football governing body, reflecting an improved balance between national team and club football. The new MoU, in effect until May 2022, underlines that UEFA clearly recognises the importance of clubs and the significant contribution they make to the success of national team football. In addition to the Memorandum, numerous ECA Representatives participate in several committees and working groups at UEFA, and two ECA Club Representatives now sit in UEFA Executive Committee.

QWhat is the relation between ECA and the EU?

With the increased involvement of political bodies in football, ECA has undertaken a number of measures aimed at ensuring that politicians and civil servants are fully aware of the clubs' views as they move ahead in developing an EU Sports policy.

Contacts at all levels of the EU  are regular and on-going. These include:

  • regular contacts with European Commission civil servants and MEPs
  • bi-lateral meetings with EU Sports Commissioner and Sports Ministers from across the EU
  • regular contacts with authors of EU funded research (report on agents/report on transfer system)
  • ECA participation in conferences/meetings, such as Sports licensing conference, Agents conference, EU Sports Forum, EU Structured Dialogue, Sports Directors meetings, European Parliament Roundtable.
QIs ECA involved in Women's Football?

Yes, ECA is involved in Women's Football through its Women's Football Committee, a platform to discuss issues related to European and international women's club football, whose aim is to allow ECA to directly negotiate strategic issues with the governing bodies. ECA Women's Football Committee (WFC) is composed of 23 clubs, a mix of both ECA Member Clubs with a women's section and selected non-ECA clubs.

QWhat is the Legal Advisory Panel?

The Legal Advisory Panel (LAP)  has been created to bring together legal experts and arbitration members from ECA Member Clubs with the aim of exchanging knowledge, joining legal forces and sharing expertise in order to become better aware and informed about certain legal problems and decisions. The LAP supports the ECA Representatives involved in various dispute resolution and arbitration bodies and aims at creating best practices for ECA Member Clubs.

QWhere is the ECA Administration based?

The ECA Administration in based in Nyon, Switzerland. More information can be found in the 'ECA Administration' section.

Membership

QWho are the ECA Members?

The ECA Members are football clubs drawn from 53 UEFA Members Associations. The full list of ECA Members can be found in the 'ECA Membership' section.

QHow many Members does ECA have?

Currently, ECA counts a total of 220 Member Clubs, 106 of them are Ordinary Members and 114 have the status of Associated Members.

QWhat is the difference between Ordinary and Associated Members?

Both Ordinary and Associated Members participate in ECA's main meetings and activities (ie Working Groups, Subdivision Meetings). The main difference is that only Ordinary Members have a voting right in the ECA General Assembly, while Associated Members hold an observer status. Furthermore, only club representatives from ECA Ordinary Member Clubs can stand for ECA Executive Board Elections.

QHow can a club become an ECA Ordinary Member?

The identity of clubs eligible for ECA Ordinary Membership is established according to the individual UEFA club coefficient ranking. ECA Ordinary Membership is also offered to clubs in recognition of sporting merit if a given club has won at least five UEFA club competition trophies (ie UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Europa League or UEFA Cup Winners Cup). This entitlement applies even if the club in question does not qualify as an ordinary member on the basis of individual ranking.

QHow many clubs from a single UEFA member association can be ECA Ordinary Members?

At the beginning of every ECA Cycle, the precise number of clubs from each member association is established on the UEFA ranking position of its member association at that time. For the current ECA Membership Cycle (2013-15), the nomination of Ordinary Members was based on the UEFA Country Ranking 2013.

  • Associations ranked 1-3 > 5 Ordinary Member Clubs
  • Associations ranked 4-6 > 4 Ordinary Member Clubs
  • Associations ranked 7-15 > 3 Ordinary Member Clubs
  • Associations ranked 16-28 > 2 Ordinary Member Clubs
  • Associations ranked 29-53 > 1 Ordinary Member Club
QHow can a club become an ECA Associated Member?

In accordance with ECA Statutes, clubs can apply to become Associated Members if they are either ECA Founding Members or Clubs in the top division of a UEFA member association and meet one of the following eligibility conditions:

  • ECA Ordinary Member or Associated Member in the previous membership cycle
  • UEFA Champions League or European Champion Clubs' Cup (since 1955/56) holder
  • UEFA Champions League Group Stage participants
  • UEFA Europa League, UEFA Cup or UEFA Cup Winners' Cup holder
  • UEFA Europa League or UEFA Champions League three-time qualifier during the previous five seasons
QHow long does the ECA Membership last for?

ECA Membership is granted per cycle of two years, and is renewable at the end of every cycle, provided that the club still plays in the first division of its domestic league.

QWhat are the benefits of being ECA Members?

To all its Members, ECA offers access to best practices, knowledge exchange and network opportunities. ECA is the only association directly representing the voices, rights and interests of Clubs at the highest levels.

QCan ECA Membership be terminated before the end of a cycle?

Yes. A club can lose its Ordinary Membership at the end of a 2-year cycle if relegated to a lower division. Such club could however apply for a membership as an Associated Member.

Executive Board

QHow many members does the ECA Executive Board have?

The ECA Executive Board is composed of 15 members.

QHow is the ECA Executive Board elected?

The 105 ECA Ordinary Members elect a new Executive Board at the beginning of the two-year membership cycle. 11 members are directly elected by the Ordinary Member Clubs and 4 members are appointed by the newly elected Board to represent ECA at the UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council.

QWho appoints the ECA Chairman and Vice-Chairmen?

At its first meeting of the two-year cycle, the newly formed Executive Board appoints the Chairman and the three Vice-Chairmen.

QWho is the ECA Chairman?

The current ECA Chairman is Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. He is also the Executive Board Chairman of FC Bayern München.

QWho are the four members appointed by the ECA Executive Board to represent ECA at the UEFA PFSC?

The four ECA Representatives on the UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council for the 2013-15 membership cycle are Nasser Al-Khelaifi (Paris St-Germain), Ivan Gazidis (Arsenal FC), Josep Maria Bartomeu (FC Barcelona) and Evgeni Giner (PFC CSKA Moskva).

Working Groups

QWhat are the ECA Working Groups?

The ECA Working Groups provide active advice and support to the ECA Executive Board and to ECA representatives participating in committees or working groups at UEFA, FIFA and EU level.

QHow many ECA Working Groups are there?

The European Club Association counts five different Working Groups. Each of the five Working Groups deal with one of the following topics: Competitions, Finance, Institutional Relations, Marketing & Communication and Youth.

QWho are the ECA Working Groups members and how are they appointed?

Each Working Group is composed of 20 members plus the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, selected among officials from ECA Member Clubs, with a special attention to a diverse geographical and club size representation. Club representatives wishing to be part of a Working Group apply at the beginning of the 2-year cycle, and successively the Board appoints the different Working Groups.

QWho are the Working Group members for the current cycle?

The full list of Working Group members can be found under the 'ECA Working Groups' section.

QWhat is an ECA Task Force?

A Task Force is composed of a limited number of Working Group members. It is in charge of studying specific topics, which fall under the competence of a given Working Group, and reports to the Working Group.