Michele Centenaro, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Umberto Gandini, Sandro Rosell
Warsaw - Representatives from 123 member clubs attended the European Club Association's (ECA) two-day General Assembly in Warsaw.
Agreement reached with UEFA - no solution found with FIFA
The ECA Executive Board was pleased to announce to the General Assembly that an agreement was reached with UEFA in relation to a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The new agreement shall run from 1 June 2012 until 30 May 2018 and includes the following points:
UEFA will establish starting June 2012, for the start of the EURO in Poland/Ukraine, an insurance covering the injury risk of players while on international team duty. This insurance is valid for all players registered with a European club, irrespective of their nationality, and for all matches mentioned in the international calendar, including both official and friendly matches.
Participation of clubs in the benefits of the UEFA EURO
In accordance with the existing MoU with UEFA, the clubs are entitled to 55 Million Euro of the EURO 2012 benefits as recognition of the significant contribution of clubs to the success of this tournament. As part of the new agreement, this amount will be substantially increased in time for this year's EURO with a further increase for the UEFA EURO 2016 in France. The precise amounts will be announced at the UEFA Congress in March in Istanbul.
Governance / club representation in decision-making process
In the future, the clubs will have a "Referral Right" on all decisions affecting club football. No decision relating to club football will be taken without the consent of the clubs.
The European football family has come to a compromise solution for the future international calendar, which will be made up of 9 double-headers over a 2 year period with no single friendlies. It is to be noted that the August friendly match date was completely removed as a result of ECA's request. Additional points, which form part of the International Calendar proposal, include:
- No more than one international tournament per player per year
- The Final Tournaments of all confederations shall end mid-July
- The Africa Cup of Nations shall start as soon as possible in January
- The two matches of the double-date shall be played on the same continent (at least the second match must be played in Europe for European teams)
Commenting on the agreement with UEFA and the situation with FIFA, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated:
"The agreement with UEFA is a major break-through for European club football. With this agreement, UEFA clearly recognises the importance of clubs and the significant contribution they make to the success of national team football. The negotiations have not always proved easy, but were always conducted in a fair and respectful manner. I sincerely thank UEFA, in particular UEFA President Platini, on behalf of all European clubs and look forward to our continued cooperation. This is once more a proof that in the European football family solutions can be found in a cooperative and fair way."
"While an agreement has been reached with UEFA, the situation remains unsatisfactory in relation to FIFA. Unfortunately, discussions with the FIFA President have failed to lead to a satisfactory outcome which takes account of the clubs' demands."
Executive Board Elections
Ebru Köksal and John McClelland have stepped down from the ECA Executive Board, as they ceased to hold an active office at their respective clubs. Hence, Executive Board Elections were held in order to fill the vacancies. ECA Ordinary Member Clubs eligible to vote participated in the election and elected Theodoros Giannikos (Olympiacos FC) and Jakub Otava (AC Sparta Praha) as new Executive Board Members for the remaining period of the current membership cycle, which lasts until the end of the 2012/13 season.
EU Autonomous Agreement
The ECA General Assembly approved the autonomous agreement regarding the EU Social Dialogue. The EU Social Dialogue brings together organisations representing employer and employees in European football in order to agree employment and social conditions. The main element included in the agreement concerns the minimum requirements for player contracts in Europe. Each party involved in the EU Social Dialogue needs the approval of their respective decision-making bodies before it can be implemented. The date provisionally set for a possible signing ceremony of the agreement is April 2012 in Brussels.