At the 14th ECA General Assembly in Stockholm, ECA and UEFA have announced the renewal of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) until 31 May 2022. The renewed agreement is a testament to the strength of the strategic partnership ECA and UEFA have developed since 2008, with the new memorandum now including for example both the 2018-21 UEFA club competition cycle and UEFA EURO 2020. The agreement sets a new benchmark for the relationship between clubs and national associations, providing clubs a greater role in top-level governance and an increased share of funding.
ECA to join the UEFA Executive Committee
The UEFA Congress last week ratified the principle to allow stakeholder representation in the UEFA Executive Committee. As of its next meeting, two ECA Club Representatives will participate in the UEFA Executive Committee, as "co-opted" members. The presence of club representatives as full members with voting rights in the UEFA Executive Committee will be implemented at the next UEFA Congress, pending the necessary statutory changes. This is a major achievement for ECA and a strong statement of UEFA's commitment to modern and dynamic governance models. Most importantly, it is an unequivocal acknowledgement of clubs' importance to the European Game.
Increased role for UEFA Club Competitions Committee
The new MoU further increases the role of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee, wielding more meaningful influence on top-level decision-making. The UEFA Club Competitions Committee refers directly to the UEFA Executive Committee and will retain a "Referral Right" on a number of issues affecting clubs or club competitions. It will also be informed and consulted on marketing and financial matters and be composed exclusively of club representatives.
UEFA EURO 2020 club benefits
For the first time, at the 2020 tournament, the clubs' financial benefits from UEFA EURO will be calculated as a percentage of the total gross revenue. Clubs will receive 8% of income from broadcast, commercial and ticketing/hospitality, with the minimum set at €200m - a €50m increase on the clubs' share of UEFA EURO 2016 revenues.
Club competition distribution concept
ECA and UEFA have together developed a revolutionary distribution mechanism for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, aimed at sharing the competitions' revenue growth more evenly among European clubs. A record funding pot of €2.24bn - combining 32% higher UEFA club competition revenues with UEFA finals ticketing and hospitality income - will be divided with a new focus on solidarity. A greater proportion of funds than ever before will go to UEFA Europa League participants, to participants in the qualifying rounds and to clubs in medium/smaller championships. The concept means more funding for all, because the new percentage-based system ensures that every stakeholder will benefit proportionally from the competitions' continued growth. ECA is proud to have completed this virtuous circle for the good of the European game in collaboration with UEFA. The full details of the new distribution can be viewed here.
Commenting on the renewed MoU, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said:
"The signing of the second agreement with UEFA in 2012 was an historic moment. It expressed the unity of the ECA and our desire to develop and improve club football, and it established us as a serious partner of UEFA. Our third Memorandum of Understanding is the beginning of a new era, a long-term cooperation with UEFA, similar to the one with FIFA. With both governing bodies, we secured in open, fair, but not always easy discussions a stable international match calendar and increased club benefits for the release of players that participate in the EURO and World Cup. Furthermore, in the future ECA will not only be directly involved in the shaping of European football through its participation in the UEFA Executive Committee, but also benefit from higher funding. All clubs will benefit from a higher share of the increased Champions League and Europa League revenues for 2015-2018, in particular the Europa League participants. I would like to thank the UEFA President Michel Platini for sharing our vision of European club football and facilitating this constructive cooperation. The ECA is still a very young organisation and these achievements are an extraordinary success, which will strengthen the solidarity among the clubs and our sense of responsibility for football."
UEFA President Michel Platini added:
"I am very pleased that we have extended our partnership with the ECA until 2022. I have always believed that UEFA should work together with national associations and clubs in order to find the best ideas and solutions for European Football. I look forward to seeing our relationship continue to blossom in the future as we make sure that our collective interests are promoted and protected. I would also like to thank the ECA chairman, Kalle Rummenigge for his efforts throughout the many years of our cooperation. It has been a pleasure to work with him."
The full MoU is available for download here.