FIFA, UEFA and a number of top European clubs are pleased to announce that they today signed a letter of intent, which starts a new chapter in the relations between the governing bodies and the clubs. The development is very much in line with the sporting and political philosophy of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, who seek to involve all key stakeholders in the decision-making processes of football and to find workable solutions within the football family itself. The European clubs share this philosophy.
Meeting at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, the representatives of the organisations present (cf. list at the end of this media release) agreed on the intention to regulate their future relationship with a number of actions. These are to include the planned evolution of the European Club Forum into the European Club Association (ECA), the formal signature of a memorandum of understanding with UEFA and subsequently the dissolution of the G-14 with the withdrawal of its claims in court. As part of the planned moves, UEFA and FIFA will enter into a series of commitments including financial contributions for player participation in European Championships and World Cups, subject to the approval of their respective bodies.
FIFA President Joseph Blatter hailed the meeting as a historic occasion and a turning point in modern football. "Something very special has happened today. The clubs, which are the basic cells of our game and fundamental to its thriving, are at last to become a part of the pyramidal football organisation. Today's letter of intent gives a big boost to football. We have reached this positive conclusion by taking care of the legitimate aspirations and requests of clubs to access the decision-making levels of international football."
Blatter's positive sentiments were echoed by his counterpart at UEFA, President Michel Platini: "The demands of the clubs to be heard and to be associated, also financially, are well-founded. The letter of intent signed today is not a political step, but a logical one."
Speaking on behalf of the clubs, Barcelona President Joan Laporta praised the outcome of the meeting, emphasising that "friendship and confidence is the basis for our game. I compliment the UEFA President on having implemented the change he promised when he came to office. It is a victory for all."
At a meeting of the European Club Forum on 21 January, UEFA will propose to the European clubs the intention to create a new body that will represent their interests at European level. This new club body - to be known as the European Club Association - will consist of more than 100 clubs across Europe, including representatives from every one of the 53 national associations of UEFA. The new body will be independent but recognised by UEFA through the above-mentioned memorandum of understanding.
List of Participants
Joseph S. BLATTER FIFA President
Jerome VALCKE FIFA General Secretary
Markus KATTNER FIFA Deputy General Secretary
Marco VILLIGER FIFA Legal Director
Jerome Champagne FIFA Director International Affairs
Andreas HERREN FIFA Director Communications a.i.
Michel PLATINI UEFA President
David TAYLOR UEFA General Secretary
Gianni INFANTINO UEFA Deputy General Secretary
Ramon CALDERON Real Madrid CF President
José Angel SANCHEZ Real Madrid CF Vice President
Joan LAPORTA FC Barcelona President
Raul SANLLEHI FC Barcelona Director
Adriano GALLIANI AC Milan Vice President
Umberto GANDINI AC Milan Director
Jean-Claude BLANC Juventus FC Chief Executive
Marino FACCIOLI Olympique Lyonnais Deputy General Director
Martin BAIN Rangers FC Chief Executive
John McCLELLAND Rangers FC Director
David GILL Manchester United FC Chief Executive
Peter KENYON Chelsea FC Chief Executive
Karl-Heinz RUMMENIGGE FC Bayern Munich President
Michael GERLINGER FC Bayern Munich Legal Director
John JAAKE AFC Ajax President
Marteen FONTEIN AFC Ajax Chief Executive
Jorge NUNO PINTO DA COSTA FC Porto President
Diogo Paiva BRANDAO FC Porto General Manager
Petros KOKKALIS Olympiacos FC Vice President
Theodoros GIANNIKOS Olympiacos FC International Affairs