Do European Football Clubs have a voice in the decisions made by the European Governing Body of Football?

Popularity of European Football

European Football is currently the most lucrative football market in the world with a competition such as the UEFA Champions League being the premier football competition in the world attracting huge amounts of revenue in television rights, sponsorship and ticket sales.

Changes to the structure of European Football Competitions

The European football clubs will therefore feel that they are in an extremely strong position in relation to the European Football Governing Body (UEFA) and should be considered when changes which affect them are made by UEFA.

Often the structure of European Football competition whether that is the Champions League or the Europa League is often changed with the clubs affected feeling that they should have a voice when these decisions have been made. For example in 2002 the structure of the Champions League was changed prior to the knock-out stages with the creation of a second group stage. This meant that the number of games in the tournament so vastly increased creating the potential for much more money to be made of the tournament. This may have been a decision which benefited UEFA but for the clubs participating who were to reach the later stages of the tournament there could be a huge impact of playing more games on the potential of both their European and domestic seasons.

Do the European Football clubs have a voice?

The European Club Association

  • On the 15th January 2008 an agreement was signed with UEFA which signaled the creation of the European Club Association (ECA) creating a new reformed hierarchy in the footballing world.

  • Following the creation of the agreement the ECA is now recognised as the sole body representing the interests of football clubs at a European level. The agreement not only states that UEFA recognises the ECA in this capacity but that the ECA recognises UEFA as the European governing body of football and FIFA as the worldwide governing body of football.

What is the structure of the ECA?

  • When initially created the ECA will be made up of 103 football clubs represented from all of UEFA’s 53 member associations. This enables clubs from all leagues and countries to have a say in the decisions which may affect them.

What does this mean?

  • This means that there will be more harmony between the European Football Clubs and the governing bodies due to the fact that the European football clubs represented by the ECA will have a say in the decisions made by UEFA which affect them.

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For more information on:

  • What was the position before the creation of the ECA?
  • What was the G14?
  • Did the G14 have any recognised legal status?
  • So what has happened to the G14 now?
  • Why did the football authorities decide to give the G14 full legal authority as the ECA?
  • So what is the position now?
  • Issues of clubs being compensated when players are on international duty
  • Will this apply to all international matches?