Rummenigge: A new era for European clubs

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In his role as chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has concluded comprehensive and significant new agreements with international governing bodies UEFA and FIFA.

Speaking on Tuesday at the ECA General Assembly in Stockholm, Rummenigge announced greater consultation rights for the 214 ECA member clubs in defining the international match calendar, and more meaningful influence on top-level decision-making at UEFA. Furthermore, both UEFA and world governing body FIFA have agreed to increase the benefits paid to compensate clubs for releasing players for EURO and World Cup tournaments.

Statement: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

"The signing of the second agreement with UEFA in 2012 was an historic moment. It expressed the unity of the ECA and our desire to develop and improve club football, and it established us as a serious partner of UEFA. Our third Memorandum of Understanding is the beginning of a new era, a long-term cooperation with UEFA, similar to the one with FIFA.

With both governing bodies, we secured in open, fair, but not always easy discussions a stable international match calendar and increased club benefits for the release of players that participate in the EURO and World Cup. Furthermore, in the future ECA will not only be directly involved in the shaping of European football through its participation in the UEFA Executive Committee, but also benefit from higher funding. All clubs will benefit from a higher share of the increased Champions League and Europa League revenues for 2015-2018, in particular the Europa League participants.

I would like to thank the UEFA President Michel Platini for sharing our vision of European club football and facilitating this constructive cooperation. The ECA is still a very young organisation and these achievements are an extraordinary success, which will strengthen the solidarity among the clubs and our sense of responsibility for football." summarises the main agreements detailed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ECA and UEFA.

Direct influence on the international match calendar
The ECA has secured greater consultation rights in the design of the international match calendar. The current structure is confirmed for the 2018 to 2022 cycle, with nine designated double international matchdays in any 24 month period.

Two ECA members on the UEFA Executive Committee
Two ECA club representatives will participate in the UEFA Executive Committee as co-opted members, pending the necessary statutory changes to convert the club representatives to full members with voting rights; this will be implemented at the next UEFA Congress in 2016. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is very likely to represent the ECA on the committee. This would mean Germany having two Executive Committee members for the first time, as DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach is already on the committee.

Greater tournament benefits
UEFA will pay €200m to clubs releasing players for the 24-team EURO 2020, a doubling of the compensation compared to the 2012 edition. The ECA had already negotiated a €150m compensation pool for 2016. FIFA will provide a €195m fund per tournament to compensate clubs releasing players for the 32-team 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Higher rewards for Europa League qualifiers

The ECA argued forcefully for a greater proportion of revenue for Europa League participants, with a significant increase in revenue distribution away from the Champions League. The new multiplying factor, aimed at sharing the competitions' revenue growth more evenly among European clubs, decreases from 4.3 to 3.3 for the Champions League. However, as revenue for both competitions in the 2015 - 2018 period is forecast to grow substantially, the Champions League clubs will also benefit with approximately €1.25bn in the revenue pool compared to €381m for the Europa League clubs.

Player injury insurance
The ongoing FIFA Club Protection Scheme means players are insured in the case of injury while participating in the UEFA EURO.

Club Football Council
UEFA's Club Competitions Committee will be revamped and potentially reconstituted as the new Club Football Council (CFC). The body will exclusively comprise club representatives and would retain an automatic right of referral in the case of UEFA decisions relating to club competitions. It will also be informed and consulted on marketing and financial matters.

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