Rummenigge named ECA Honorary Chairman
FC Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been awarded the first-ever ECA Honorary Chairmanship in recognition of his significant contribution and commitment to the development of European club football over the past 9 years. The body representing the interests of Europe's leading clubs announced the prestigious appointment in Geneva on Tuesday.
Commenting on his appointment, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated: "I am deeply honoured that ECA Members have bestowed upon me the ECA Honorary Chairmanship. It has been a real pleasure to serve European club football over the past 9 years as ECA Chairman and this new honorary role will allow me to maintain strong links with this association for which I have so much affection. As I look back on my career in football, my time as ECA Chairman will always bring very strong memories: not only our significant achievements for club football, but also the life-long friendships I have developed with my colleagues within the ECA Family."
Representatives from 162 member clubs attended the European Club Association's (ECA) 19th General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
Executive Board Elections and appointment of ECA Chairman
With the start of the new 2017-19 ECA Membership Cycle, the ECA Ordinary Members present at the General Assembly elected a new Executive Board. Eleven Board Members were elected and will be joined by the four ECA representatives on UEFA's Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC). The recently appointed ECA PFSC Members are: Josep Maria Bartomeu (FC Barcelona), Ed Woodward (Manchester United FC), Nasser Al-Khelaifi (Paris Saint-Germain FC) and Peter Lawwell (Celtic FC). Following the elections, the new Executive Board met for the first time to appoint the Chairman and the four Vice-Chairmen. Andrea Agnelli, President of Juventus, was unanimously appointed ECA Chairman for the coming two-year membership cycle.
Speaking following his appointment, ECA Chairman Andrea Agnelli said: "My predecessor, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has set a great example and has set the bar of achievements at a very high level. I am looking forward, together with the Executive Board and the Administration, to build on his significant results as we manage ECA in the coming years.
It is a huge honour and a great responsibility the European clubs have entrusted me with. I am looking forward to working closely with all stakeholders within the game in order to protect, promote and develop club football at all levels across Europe."
The composition of the new ECA Executive Board for the 2017-19 membership cycle is as follows:
Chairman: Andrea Agnelli | Juventus (ITA)
1^st^ Vice-Chairman: Pedro López Jiménez | Real Madrid CF (ESP)
2^nd^ Vice-Chairman: Edwin van der Sar | AFC Ajax (NED)
3^rd^ Vice-Chairman: Dariusz Mioduski | Legia Warszawa SA (POL)
4^th^ Vice-Chairman: Aki Riihilahti | HJK Helsinki (FIN)
Member: Ed Woodward | Manchester United FC (ENG)
Member: Ivan Gazidis | Arsenal FC (ENG)
Member: Josep Maria Bartomeu | FC Barcelona (ESP)
Member: Nasser Al-Khelaifi | Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)
Member: Jean-Michel Aulas | Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Member: Michael Gerlinger | FC Bayern München (GER)
Member: Michael Verschueren | RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
Member: Domingos Oliveira | SL Benfica (POR)
Member: Anders Hørsholt | FC København (DEN)
Member: Peter Lawwell | Celtic FC (SCO)
ECA Representatives on UEFA Executive Committee
Following the changes to the UEFA Statutes earlier this year officialising the inclusion of two club representatives in the UEFA Executive Committee as full members with voting rights, the new ECA Executive Board appointed Andrea Agnelli (Juventus) and Ivan Gazidis (Arsenal FC) to join the UEFA Executive Committee on behalf of ECA. The UEFA Congress will ratify the two ECA Representatives' positions within the UEFA Executive Committee at its extraordinary meeting to be held on 20 September.
ECA adopts Governance Reforms
After nine years of existence, which has seen significant evolution in the club football landscape, the ECA Executive Board felt that it was the right time to re-assess ECA's governance model to ensure that ECA is able to confront the current challenges and realities facing club football in the best way possible. This led the Board to propose a number of structural changes, which ECA Members were invited to vote upon at the General Assembly.
The proposed changes can be summarised as follows:
- Enlarging club participation in the Executive Board
- Introducing term limits for Executive Board membership
- Strengthening the link between the Working Groups and the Executive Board
- Deepening the consultation process leading to key decisions
- Ensuring greater numbers of club representatives are involved in UEFA/FIFA committees
- Enhancing transparency in the manner in which ECA appoints its representatives
- Expanding the length of the ECA Cycle
Members gave overwhelming support to these proposed changes, some of which will enter into force immediately, while others will only take effect at the start of the next ECA cycle in July 2019.
Members discuss the future of European club football
ECA Member Clubs met in break-out sessions to discuss upcoming challenges and priorities in European club football. Much of the focus of the discussion centred around topics such as the transfer system (incl. the length of the transfer window), the future of Financial Fair Play and the European club competitions concept 2021-24. It was agreed, that further discussions will be held on these matters to develop an ECA position following which it will be shared and discussed with the relevant stakeholders of the professional game.