• Board approves inaugural ECA Sustainability Strategy

Chaired by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the 37-strong ECA Board met today at the Civitas Metropolitan Stadium, Madrid, hosted by ECA Board and ExCo member Miguel Ángel Gil.

In attendance at the Board was LaLiga President Javier Tebas, who spoke on the common ambition to protect football and jointly face the challenges that lie ahead, including the threat to football posed by the theft of audio-visual rights, quoting estimated revenue losses of 30-35%.

In his opening address, ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi commended the rapid growth in ECA membership as the Association continues adding new members daily, including women’s clubs and clubs from all first divisions across Europe.

Commenting on the meeting and growth of membership ECA, Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said: “ECA continues to go from strength to strength. As well as seeing our membership grow to 620 clubs, up from 266 members in July, we have advanced our key strategic joint ventures with UEFA and FIFA, while also building on our offering to clubs through delivering a number of new and exciting events and services.

“However, there is still much to be done, with many ongoing strategic initiatives that will enable us collectively to build an ECA that is better placed than ever to serve and defend European clubs of all sizes.”

ECA Membership & Internal Governance

ECA membership has reached the milestone of 620 clubs, up from 266 clubs since the start of the 2023/24 season, an amazing growth rate of over 130%, now spanning all 55 UEFA national associations including 100% membership in 15 countries.

The Board reviewed the ongoing internal governance reforms that will include evolving the current membership structure of the ECA Family to a more comprehensive and inclusive model under the banner ‘Membership for All’.

This will allow all top division clubs, irrespective of their size or country, to become ECA Members and participate in genuine decision-making. Any eventual changes to the membership structure will require further amendments to the ECA Statutes to be submitted for approval at ECA’s General Assembly later this year.

Strategic Review

The preliminary findings from ECA’s ongoing Strategic Review were presented to the Board concerning ECA’s overall strategic direction and how the organisation needs to evolve operationally to better serve its growing membership base and to further evolve to keep clubs at the heart of football, now and in the future.

ECA Sustainability Strategy approved

ECA Board Member and ExCo Lead Niclas Carlnén presented the mission, vision, structure and key dimensions of the first-ever ECA Sustainability Strategy, which was approved by the Board.

The strategy details ECA’s commitment to integrate sustainability into its core operations and as well as its clubs' practices, outlining specific objectives and KPIs to facilitate the transition required. The strategy responds to important calls from UEFA and the EU to promote sustainability in football, and focuses on key governance areas including risk management, transparency and accountability, training and capacity building and communication.

Full details will be released when the strategy is launched at the ECA Club Connect event taking place in Madrid on 25 April.

The Board also reviewed the draft ECA Youth Football Strategy, with its core objective of ECA becoming a globally recognised centre of excellence in youth football.

Stakeholder Matters – UEFA, FIFA & WIMC

On stakeholder matters, following the UCC SA Board meeting on 22 April, the Board was informed that the new Shareholders Agreement for the UEFA-ECA Joint Venture had been signed and was now fully operational.

As regards FIFA, the latest version the Women’s International Match Calendar (WIMC) was discussed by the Board ahead of its submission to the FIFA Council meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on 15 May.

The Board also received a status update on the excellent collaboration on commercial matters between FIFA and ECA, with members reviewing a high-level proposed framework for a FIFA-ECA Joint Venture for the FIFA Men’s Club World Cup 2025.

General Assembly 2024

The Board meeting closed with a confirmation of the date and location of the next ECA General Assembly as 8 - 10 October in Athens, Greece.