European Club Assocation General Assembly - Chairman's Address - 6 September 2021
ECA Media Release
The 26th ECA General Assembly, the first both to be held largely in-person since September 2019 and under the chairmanship of Nasser Al-Khelaifi, took place on 6 and 7 September in Geneva, Switzerland.
Representatives from 160 Member Clubs gathered to discuss how football can reform and recover from the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to hear new ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi lay out his and the ECA Executive Board’s vision for the future of ECA and European club football.
Address by the ECA Chairman
The ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi addressed Member Clubs directly for the first time since being appointed to the role by the Executive Board last April and articulated his ambitions to renew hope and purpose for the organisation and for European football, based on five priorities:
Highlighting the need for collaborative solutions to both the short and long-term challenges facing football, Al-Khelaifi in his address to members said:
“Over the past few months, European football has faced challenges like never before. People have tried to divide us; they have tried to separate us; they have tried to make us weaker. They have failed. In fact, they have achieved the exact opposite – they brought us together. They have made us stronger. And if all of us continue to work together with integrity; fully committed to our ideals; fully committed to each other as fellow clubs; and fully committed to the ECA, then European football can only flourish.”
Board given mandate to pursue strategic priorities
A key objective of the General Assembly was to discuss and agree the priorities and positions that ECA’s representatives will work towards over the coming months.
After hearing various presentations from the ECA Administration on the current landscape of the European game, the ECA Membership gave the Executive Board a clear mandate to pursue meaningful reform in the following areas:
UEFA and FIFA address the ECA Membership
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin spoke directly to ECA Members with FIFA President Gianni Infantino addressing the Assembly via video message, both offering messages of unity and support to European club football following the recent challenges the game has faced.
Executive Board election
Following resignations earlier in the year, three representatives from Subdivision One were elected to the ECA Board to see out the current term to 2023. Representatives from ordinary member clubs in this subdivision duly elected Alessandro Antonello (FC Internazionale Milano), Miguel Ángel Gil (Club Atlético de Madrid) and Daniel Levy (Tottenham Hotspur). Together with Vinai Venkatesham (Arsenal FC), who was recently appointed to the UCC SA Board, these 3 newly elected members will take their seats in the ECA Board with immediate effect.
Finally, the Board took note of the recent decision of Michael Gerlinger (FC Bayern München) to step down from his position on the Executive Board in the coming months. The Board has expressed its support to replace him with Oliver Kahn (FC Bayern München) following a period of transition which is expected to see him formally take up his seat in November at the time of the next Board meeting.