Tectonic shift in role clubs play in decisions shaping European football: Nasser Al Khelaifi

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Vienna: The General Assembly of the European Club Association (ECA) was held today in Vienna, under the chairmanship of Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The General Assembly brought together representatives from 246 European football clubs as well as UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and various other high-level dignitaries.
Discussions focused on several critical points, including the failure of the European Super League, donations to the efforts of Ukraine and to the players of the Ukrainian youth academy, the joining of new women to the association and the new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules established by UEFA.
Regarding UEFA and ECA’s commitment against the failure of the Super League, Al-Khelaifi said: “For the first time ever, UEFA and ECA have worked together to conduct a call for open and competitive bids to manage the sale process for the men’s European club competitions. This resulted in the appointment of TEAM Marketing and Relevant Sports Group as marketing and sales partners, which was only announced last month. This process was much more than a tender – it represented a tectonic shift in the role clubs now play in the decisions that shape European football, and a new progressive governance model for European football, the clubs determining their destiny in partnership with UEFA”.
He continued: “It also showed what can happen when we work together – and the results are so much better. We have seen an incredible 39% increase in the projected commercial value of UEFA men’s club competitions for the post-2024 cycle, and while we still need to explore other untapped revenue streams together, this is of a historic increase in income. This agreement also proves that the skeptics of the European football model were wrong. More influence and more attendance for the clubs”.
ECA has also worked closely with UEFA on the new FFP rules, which will be finalized by April 7. Commenting on this, Al-Khelaifi said: “The ECA has worked with UEFA to shape the new financial sustainability rules which will apply in the future, replacing the old FFP rules. These new rules are designed to ensure a better cost control, while encouraging investments that will ensure the long-term sustainable future of our game. including the need for the new rules to be simple, fair, transparent and enforceable; and we look forward to the new system being put in place soon.”
Importantly, Al-Khelaifi also addressed the creation of a new women’s membership structure specifically for women’s clubs, in a commitment to greater diversity within the ECA.

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