The ECA Executive Board, meeting today in Milan, Italy, under Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, has approved plans for major governance reforms to its Board and Executive Committee and a further expansion of ECA Membership. These proposals will now be put to the ECA General Assembly on 27-28 March in Budapest, Hungary, for final approval.

These significant internal governance reforms will bring more democracy, participation and diversity into the leadership and decision-making of ECA leading into the next ECA cycle 2023-27.

More specifically, the governance reforms target:

  • Further growth in numbers, representation and decision-making for Ordinary Members to around 130 clubs
  • Ordinary Membership available for women’s clubs based on women’s team performance
  • Board positions available to Associated Members for the first time, opening up Board representation to another 160 or so clubs
  • The ever-growing ECA Network, where aspiring European clubs can engage and participate more fully in ECA and European club football affairs, expanded to a potential additional total of 200 clubs.

The changes to the governance structure will add operating efficiency and effectiveness at Board, Executive Committee and Administration level, whilst ensuring a wider representation of European clubs within ECA.

As the sole recognised independent body directly representing football clubs at European level, relationships with all football’s key stakeholders remain of paramount importance to ECA.

At the last Board meeting in Doha, ECA welcomed representatives from FIFA, UEFA and the Confederation Presidents from the AFC, CAF, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. It is through these positive relationships that ECA can guarantee for clubs around the world (not just ECA Members) financial benefits including, importantly, compensation for player release to national teams and player insurance when on national team duty.

The Board was also updated on the positive recent dialogue between ECA and FIFA since the last Board meeting in Doha. These discussions will continue in the coming weeks.

In other matters, the Board heard from Board member Ali Koç (Fenerbahçe SK, Türkiye) on the situation following the terrible earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria recently and approved an expansion of the ECA Relief Fund to contribute to this ongoing situation. It also approved a further donation to 11 relief projects from clubs, in addition to the initial 15 projects supported, due to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.

Finally, the Board was updated on the status of numerous projects including, the ECA Women’s Football Summit that will take place in London on 26-27 June, the new ECA Academy Management Programme (AMP), the composition of a new Medical & Performance Panel and the launch of an extensive and detailed ECA Members’ survey to name but a few.

The next ECA General Assembly will take place in Budapest, Hungary on 27-28 March. Details on the media accreditation process will be announced shortly.