ECA presents its annual awards

Monday, 10 09 2012

Paul Elliott, Yuriy Svyrydov (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge


On the occasion of the European Club Association's (ECA) General Assembly, the four winners of the ECA Awards 2012 were announced.

The ECA Awards were first introduced back in 2010. They aim at rewarding outstanding club performances, encouraging best practice and highlighting successful club management. This year, four ECA Member Clubs were honoured for the following achievements:

European Club of the Year 2012

Club: Chelsea FC (ENG)
For their outstanding achievement during the 2011/12 season on European and domestic level

Best Sporting Progress 2012

For their significant progress in European competition in the 2011/12 season

Season 2011/12 saw APOEL FC participate in the Champions League Group Stage for the 2nd time in their history. They played in Group G against FC Porto, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Zenit St. Petersburg and finished as group winner with 9 points. In the Round of 32, APOEL FC eliminated Olympique Lyonnais before they were eventually knocked out of the competition by Real Madrid CF at the Quarter-Final stage. This achievement marks the club's and Cypriot football's biggest success in European club competition. This performance ensured significant improvement in the club's ranking in the UEFA Club Coefficient 2012.

Best Achievement 2012: Fan Relations

Club: U.C. Sampdoria (ITA)
For their Fan Relations Project "Fair Play Village"

Following the successful staging of the first ECA Fan Relations Workshop in November 2011 in Barcelona, the ECA Executive Board decided to dedicate the Best Achievement Award to a Fan Relations Project.

The shortlisted projects were submitted to Football Supporters Europe (FSE), the independent European association of football supporters. FSE proposed to the ECA Executive Board to nominate U.C. Sampdoria's programme "Fair Play Village" as laureate. FSE believes that this programme is a great example of a "Prevention through encounter" project, whereby clubs consider relations with and between fans as positive contributors and the solution to existing problems, and not as a potential security risk.

The "Fair Play Village" is a project which ran for the whole 2011/12 season. It is an itinerant setting whereby supporters of U.C. Sampdoria were provided the opportunity to meet their opposition fans in the city centre of Genova and other towns across Italy. The "Fair Play Village" opened four hours prior to kick-off time and closed two hours after the final whistle. Similar to a tradition in Italian rugby, the two supporter groups are able to mix with one another in a fair and respectful atmosphere enjoying different activities promoted by both clubs.

For more information:

Best Community & Social Responsibility Programme

Club: FC Shakhtar Donetsk
For their CSR Programme "Say No to Orphanism"

The high number of orphaned children in Ukraine is one of the country's biggest social issues. There are about 100'000 orphans throughout the country. FC Shakhtar Donetsk is dedicated to being involved in solving social problems in local communities and nationwide. With around 7m people supporting FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, the club has decided to use its position of influence by converting the attitudes of its supporters into real action. In 2011, the club launched the CSR project called "Say No to Orphanism". The three main objectives of the programme are:

- To raise awareness among the football supporting community about the issue of orphanism;
- To promote the idea of national foster care and adoption, and
- To increase the number of adoptions in the region.

All activities run by the club generated significant media attention. As a result, 3'890 kids were adopted or welcomed into foster families. The increase in site visits of the project website from around 7'000 to 18'000 per month during this period underlines the great success of the project. The collective responsibility by players, media, and the club is a great example of an outstanding sustainable project.

For more information:

Similar to last year, the ECA CSR Award Winner was nominated by an independent panel composed of the following members:

Mr. Peter Gilliéron, UEFA Executive Committee Member and Chairman of the Committee for Fair Play & Social Responsibility at UEFA

Mr. Paul Elliott MBE, CBE, former captain of Chelsea FC and leading campaigner on CSR and football activities in the UK

Mr. Peter Lawwell, CEO Celtic FC (Winner of the ECA CSR Award 2011)

Mr. Paul Elliott presented FC Shakhtar Donetsk with the award and congratulated them for their outstanding CSR Programme, stating: "This is a perfect example of how a club's role goes well beyond the field of play. The ability to enrich their local communities knows no bounds and this project in particular is a great example of the possibilities that exist for clubs to really introduce changes for the good of society."