ECA ‘founding father’ Michael Gerlinger leaves FC Bayern München
Since the formation of the European Club Association in 2008, there have been a series of landmark achievements. Over the years, ECA has signed several agreements with both UEFA and FIFA, which benefit not only ECA Member Clubs, but European club football as a whole. These agreements underline that the clubs' voice is now heard and taken seriously at the highest level. This section highlights some of ECA’s key achievements.
ECA has fostered a close collaboration with both UEFA and FIFA, signifying a strong acknowledgment of the clubs' significance in the football ecosystem. The association has signed various agreements with both governing bodies, benefiting not only ECA Member Clubs but also clubs worldwide and contributing to the overall development of club football.
To highlight and recognise the important contribution of clubs to the success of international football, ECA has agreements in place with UEFA and FIFA, which ensure that clubs that release players to the national team receive a share of the revenue gained from the respective men’s and women’s national team competitions, namely UEFA EURO / Women’s EURO and men’s UEFA Nations League and the FIFA World Cup / Women’s World Cup. Learn more about Club Benefits Programmes.
The FIFA Club Protection Programme (CPP) is an insurance policy set up by FIFA, covering the salary of male and female players in the case of injury during their stay with the national team. Players, who are exclusively trained and paid for by the clubs, need to be insured for national team matches by the event organisers in case of disablement. The CPP ensures that FIFA provides compensation for the losses encountered by the club (player salary) during the period that the player is unavailable for his respective club. Learn more about the Club Protection Programme.
The UEFA Financial Sustainability Regulations published in 2022 mark a significant shift from the previous Financial Fair Play system, aimed at enhancing the long-term stability and viability of football clubs in a post-COVID era. In this evolution, ECA plays a crucial role in designing and implementing a new licensing and monitoring regime
These revamped financial regulations seek to promote financial health and stability for clubs by imposing cost controls and incentivising sound financial management. Unlike the previous system's 18-month lag in assessing financial performance, the new rules ensure a more timely evaluation to identify potential issues promptly when applicable.
Transparency and enforceability are essential components of the new framework, providing a clear sanctioning process for non-compliant clubs. Moreover, the new model includes specific measures to facilitate the transition between the existing financial landscape and the more sustainable future envisioned by ECA.
Beyond the licensing regime, ECA also aims to explore solutions for improving debt management and liquidity funding for clubs. By addressing these financial aspects, ECA seeks to bolster the overall financial sustainability of football clubs, enabling them to weather economic challenges effectively.
ECA’s vision is about maintaining European club football's status in the realm of sports and entertainment while ensuring a stable, sustainable, and inclusive football pyramid. By adhering to the principles of Financial Sustainability, ECA strives to secure the long-term prosperity of football clubs, thereby safeguarding the game’s future success and popularity.
ECA has developed strong relationships with key stakeholders in European football, notably the two governing bodies, UEFA and FIFA. Over the years, ECA managed to ensure that club representatives are directly involved in the decision-making process linked to matters impacting the professional club game. Through the involvement of club representatives in various UEFA and FIFA bodies, the voice of European clubs is heard and properly taken into account. Learn more about ECA's role in Football Governance.
The International Match Calendar makes the release of national team players compulsory for clubs on the dates it highlights. Further to an initiative by ECA, the new International Match Calendar provides a better balance between international and club football. Learn more about the International Match Calendar.
Since 2008, ECA and UEFA have worked actively together to develop the UEFA Club Competitions into a dynamic, high-level three-tier structure, allowing (as from the 2024/25 season) 108 clubs to participate in a European league phase with a revolutionary one-ranking model.
The current UCC revenue distribution foresees an enhanced solidarity for those clubs who need it most. In addition, a cross-financing concept (currently at €10m) in favour of the UEFA Women’s Champions League (including solidarity to all top-division women’s clubs) was established. A substantial amount was set aside to allow UEFA Europa League participating clubs to further grow and to ensure the UEFA Europa Conference League could kick off with an appealing bonus structure for participating teams.
In order to ensure that the European clubs' voice is heard in the development of EU Sports Policy, ECA has built strong relationships with institutions of the European Union. Learn more about ECA's involvement in EU Matters.