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Historic agreement

ECA: ‘Major breakthrough’ for Europe’s clubs

Addressing the European Club Association General Assembly in Warsaw on Tuesday, ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge unveiled an historic agreement with European governing body UEFA, representing a milestone in the clubs’ long campaign on certain key areas of the game’s governance. "The agreement with UEFA is a major breakthrough for European club football,” Rummenigge declared.

The ECA, the umbrella organisation for 201 leading clubs from 53 associations, and UEFA agreed a Memorandum of Understanding securing higher compensation payments to clubs for players selected to appear at the European championship. The clubs were previously entitled to €55 million of the EURO 2012 benefits, but as part of the new agreement, this amount will be substantially increased in time for this year's EURO. The exact sum will be announced at the UEFA Congress in Istanbul starting on 22 March. There will be a further increase for the UEFA EURO 2016 in France.

Club representation in decision-making process

Starting June 2012, prior to the EURO in Poland and Ukraine, UEFA will also establish an insurance fund covering the injury risk of players while on international team duty. Clubs currently bear the brunt of such costs.

The ECA also agreed a new, strengthened role in UEFA’s decision-making process. “In the future, the clubs will have a ‘Referral Right’ on all decisions affecting club football,” an ECA statement said, “no decision relating to club football will be taken without the consent of the clubs.”

Tough negotiations

ECA and the governing body agreed a compromise solution to a number of issues thrown up by the current international match calendar, and are to propose a new annual schedule starting from the 2014/15 season. The new ECA and UEFA Memorandum of Understanding runs from 1 June 2012 until 30 May 2018.

“With this agreement, UEFA clearly recognises the importance of clubs and the significant contribution they make to the success of national team football,” commented Rummenigge, “the negotiations have not always proved easy, but were always conducted in a fair and respectful manner. I sincerely thank UEFA, in particular UEFA President Platini, on behalf of all European clubs and look forward to our continued cooperation.”