Geneva (CH) - Representatives from 151 member clubs attended the successful European Club Association's (ECA) two-day General Assembly in Geneva.
New ECA Membership Cycle - 197 member clubs
ECA is pleased to announce that 63 new member clubs have joined the organisation, resulting in a total of 197 member clubs (103 ordinary and 94 associated members) for the beginning of the new ECA membership cycle 2010-12. Please find attached the list of all ECA member clubs.
Executive Board Elections
In light of the start of a new membership cycle, the 103 ECA Ordinary Members elected a new Executive Board. Eleven Board Members were elected to join the four Board Members who are represented at the UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC). The four PFSC members are Maarten Fontein (AZ Alkmaar), Umberto Gandini (AC Milan), David Gill (Manchester United FC) and Florentino Pérez (Real Madrid CF). Following the elections, the new Executive Board met for the first time to appoint the Chairman and the three Vice-Chairmen.
The composition of the new ECA Executive Board for the 2010-12 membership cycle is as follows:
Chairman: Mr. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge FC Bayern München (GER)
1st Vice-Chairman: Mr. Umberto Gandini AC Milan (ITA)
2nd Vice-Chairman: Mr. Sandro Rosell FC Barcelona (SPA)
3rd Vice-Chairman: Mr. John McClelland Rangers FC (SCO)
Member: Mr. David Gill Manchester United FC (ENG)
Member: Mr. Florentino Pérez Real Madrid CF (SPA)
Member: Mr. Ernesto Paolillo FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)
Member: Mr. Jean-Michel Aulas Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Member: Mr. Evgeni Giner PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS)
Member: Mr. Diogo Brandão FC Porto (POR)
Member: Mr. Maarten Fontein AZ Alkmaar (NED)
Member: Mrs. Ebru Köksal Galatasaray SK (TUR)
Member: Mr. Michel Verschueren RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
Member: Mr. Marko Vjetrović FK Partizan (SRB)
Member: Mr. Aušrys Labinas FK Ekranas (LTU)
Michele Centenaro was confirmed as ECA General Secretary.
Financial Fair Play
Following the introduction of the Financial Fair Play regulations by UEFA, ECA will now focus on assisting its member clubs in the correct application of the new rules. In collaboration with its external advisor PricewaterhouseCoopers, ECA has developed a "Self-Diagnostic Tool", which will help the member clubs to assess their status against the new rules, particularly the break-even requirement. The new tool has been presented to the ECA delegates during the plenary session and will be made available to all member clubs.
As key note speaker, ECA was pleased to welcome the chairman of the UEFA Club Financial Control (CFP) Panel, Mr. Jean-Luc Dehaene. Mr. Dehaene introduced to the ECA delegates the newly created body, whose tasks are to ensure that the UEFA Club Licensing Regulations - particularly the Financial Fair Play Regulations - are correctly applied by all clubs.
Following his intervention during the plenary session, Mr. Dehaene stated:
"I am confident that the Club Financial Control Panel will be able to monitor and oversee the Financial Fair Play measures and it is reassuring that the initiative benefits from the strong support and attention of the European Club Association."
UEFA Club Competitions Cycle 2012-15
Following the first season of the newly created UEFA Europa League, the ECA members unanimously expressed their satisfaction with the new competition. Concerning the future of the UEFA Club Competitions as from the season 2012/13, the ECA delegates agreed that no major change is needed in the structure of both UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League from a format, marketing and distribution perspective. The only possible exception being the access list to the UEFA Europa League allowing for direct qualification to the group phase for a number of national associations to address a commercial concern.
International Match Calendar & Insurance Policy
Following several complaints from football clubs, the European Club Association was requested by its member clubs to take a strong position regarding the issues related to both the international calendar and the players' injuries with the national team.
All ECA clubs agreed on the following resolution regarding these issues:
"The European Club Association...
- Claims direct involvement in the definition of the international calendar;
- Emphasises the urgent need of the creation of a formal consultation process between clubs and national teams regarding the physical conditions and injuries sustained while playing national team matches;
- Deems the introduction of an insurance policy for all national team matches necessary."
ECA wants to address these three important issues directly to both UEFA and FIFA.
Commenting on the resolution, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said:
"Everyone is so busy in securing additional dates for this or that competition and we forget that the players are often the same and they are stretched to the limit increasing the risk of injuries. A harmonised calendar and a clear insurance policy will be one of our main goals and this could help further to harmonize the relationship between club football and national team football."
ECA Awards 2010
For the first time, ECA has introduced the concept of ECA Internal Awards. The aim of these awards is to reward outstanding performances of clubs, to congratulate and encourage best practices, to give credit to the club management and to strengthen the relationships between ECA member clubs.
After the assessment of all application files, the ECA Executive Board awarded the following achievements:
European Club of the Year 2010
FC Internazionale Milano (ITA) - for their outstanding results during the 2009/10 season on European level and in domestic competitions.
Best Sporting Progress 2010
FC Unirea Urziceni (ROM) - for their great progress in European competition in the 2009/10 season.
Best Achievement (non-sporting) 2010
FC Porto (POR) - for their eco-friendly stadium "Estádio do Dragão".
Best Social & Community Programme 2010
Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) - for their Education & Social Project "Mifalot".