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Rummenigge in Geneva

ECA General Assembly: Financial Fair Play & more

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had an important ‘away game’ off the pitch on Monday and Tuesday. The FC Bayern chairman welcomed representatives of 149 clubs to the thirteenth European Club Association (ECA) general assembly in Geneva in his role as chairman of the ECA. The following subjects were discussed:

Financial Fair Play

A decline in losses in European club football and nine punishments handed out by UEFA for breaches of the Financial Fair Play regulations last season demonstrate the success of the project that has now reached a decisive phase, as Rummenigge stressed: “We should definitely not think that club finances are now in perfect order. We are certainly not on the safe side yet. I call upon every single club to adhere to the regulations and remind you that these rules should not be seen as an attack against clubs but as a positive move for the long-term future of the game.”

The ECA also presented a plan to distribute the money raised by UEFA through the fines issued under the Financial Fair Play policy to clubs in the European competitions. “The €24 million collected over the past season should be distributed to all the teams in the Europa League and the Champions League,” said Rummenigge, “that would be a mark of great solidarity.” The proposal will now go to the UEFA Executive Committee.

2022 Qatar World Cup

ECA Members were updated on the first Qatar 2022 Task Force Meeting, which includes representatives from the ECA and FIFA. The meeting at the start of September discussed switching the World Cup to the winter months (January/February or November/December 2022). “There have to be compelling reasons to move the World Cup,” said ECA vice-chairman Umberto Gandini, “we need more information to accept a disruption to the international calendar.” Rummenigge declared a switch could only be made with the approval of the clubs: “Every possible move must be carefully planned to avoid hurting anybody.” The Task Force will reconvene in November.

Integrity in football

In the endeavour to achieve a ‘clean’ sport the ECA member clubs in Geneva signed the Charter on Integrity in Football produced by the ECA. This obliges clubs to further promote integrity in football. This aims to prevent match-fixing such as arranging results.

ECA welcomes Platini

UEFA President Michel Platini also visited the ECA general assembly. In his speech he announced his intention to stand for election for a third term. This was welcomed by the ECA.

ECA Awards

Three clubs shared this year’s ECA Awards. Rummenigge congratulated Real Madrid for winning the award as European Club of the Year 2014. The Spanish Champions League winners also picked up another award in the category of Best Community & Social Responsibility Programme 2014. Other winners were Red Bull Salzburg (Best Sporting Progress 2014) and Celtic FC (Best Achievement 2014: Marketing).