The European Club Association (ECA) is pleased to confirm that a new collaboration agreement with FIFA was signed. The clubs are the lifeblood of football and now their fundamental importance to the global game is being recognised through an agreement with the world governing body: it means recognition, protection and motivation for the clubs whose players light up the international stage.
Part of the agreement governs the distribution of club benefits generated by the FIFA World Cup based on the model developed for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments: a total of $209m will be distributed among the clubs releasing players to the World Cups in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
Furthermore, the seven-year agreement includes benefits that go beyond the financial: the ECA now has a mandate to promote clubs' interests at FIFA level and develop a collaborative working relationship with FIFA. For example, the ECA secured a direct say on the international match calendar - changes thereto will have to be jointly discussed and agreed. Furthermore, the Club Protection Programme remains in force and will in the future also cover international women's football.
Commenting on the agreement, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said:
"In serious and fair negotiations, the ECA has agreed with FIFA on a transparent economic and organisational cooperation until 2022. For the first time, the European clubs will have a direct say on the international match calendar, which was very important to me personally. As a result, the ECA will be actively involved and contribute constructively to the design of the calendar, especially for 2022. Moreover, the World Cup club benefits will triple from $70m to $209m for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022. These payments will benefit clubs from around the world who release World Cup players to their respective national associations. From an ECA perspective, this agreement is a great achievement. It marks another milestone for club football as a whole!"