The 24th ECA General Assembly, the first of its kind to be held virtually, took place on 8 September, bringing together 178 ECA Member Clubs.
Following the forced cancellation of the March General Assembly, this was the first full gathering of ECA Members in 2020. The meeting provided the opportunity to cover a number of important topics of relevance to the professional game at a time when football is facing its biggest ever challenge with many clubs having to contend with uncertain futures.
Address by the ECA Chairman
In his address to ECA Member Clubs, ECA Chairman Andrea Agnelli laid out the hardships the game was facing, the complexities in managing the industry through a pandemic and the need for clubs to work together.
Agnelli said: “What this pandemic and this crisis shows us and brings to us is one of the elements that I have stressed ever since the very first day of my chairmanship of the ECA - that the entrepreneurial risk of the industry lies on the clubs’ shoulders… If one thing connects all of us, irrespective of whether we come from a top club, a medium club or a small club, it’s that we have stadiums and we have receipts from the stadium. That has been pretty much wiped out.
It’s the vast majority of us that will bear deep scars from this crisis [and] my hope is that we come together collectively, as responsible individuals, each one of us as clubs, so we can bring forward our positions, with our stakeholders, with one united voice.”
UEFA and FIFA offer words of reassurance and support
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin and FIFA Vice-President Victor Montagliani spoke directly to ECA Members, both offering messages of reassurance and commitment in providing the necessary support to assist club football to overcome the challenges it faces and the need for all stakeholders to continue their efforts in working collaboratively in coming up with the right solutions in supporting the game as a whole.
ECA CEO report
In his first address as CEO, Charlie Marshall provided ECA Members with a detailed assessment of the key decisions that have been taken over recent months, along with UEFA, FIFA, FIFPro and the European Leagues, aimed at supporting the game and managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marshall said: “COVID-19 has been a harsh wake-up call for Football, but a wake-up call nonetheless… Whilst we have been in crisis management mode for much of 2020, we are confident that, in learning to live with the risks, we will also learn lessons in how to come through this with a more sustainable future for football.
One could ask for no clearer evidence than COVID-19 that clubs will always bear the lion’s share of the risks and the costs of delivering the world’s beautiful game, and that clubs must never tire of their work in evolving the relationships, structures, ways of working and ultimately governance to place them at the heart of football.”
Stephan Reiter (FC Salzburg) and Sharon Tammam (Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC) elected to the Executive Board
Following the recent departures of Raphael Landthaler (SK Rapid Wien) and Stefan Pantovic (FK Crvena Zvezda), Ordinary and Associated Members from Subdivision 2 elected Stephan Reiter (FC Salzburg) as their Subdivision’s Representative (Observer status) on the Board, whilst Ordinary Members from Subdivision 3 elected Sharon Tammam (Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC) as a full Board member. Both will see out the remainder of the Board’s term (September 2023).