The European Club Association (ECA) Executive Board has appointed Nasser Al-Khelaifi (Chairman & CEO of Paris Saint-Germain) as the new Chairman of the ECA, body directly representing the independent football clubs at European level.
In addition, Michael Gerlinger (Director Legal Affairs, Human Resources and Institutional Relations at FC Bayern München) has been appointed 1st Vice-Chairman of ECA, representing Subdivision 1; alongside existing ECA Vice Chairmen Edwin van der Sar (AFC Ajax), Dariusz Mioduski (Legia Warszawa) and Aki Riihilahti (HJK Helsinki).
Following the unprecedented events of recent days which has seen attempts to undermine the entire European football community, ECA – representing the leading football clubs of Europe – welcomes the decision from its former Member Clubs not to pursue their purported ‘Super League’ project, following the seismic and universal condemnation of the project by the entire football community and across society as a whole.
ECA firmly believes this project could not succeed because football, at its core, is based on openness, sporting excellence and an inherent connection between everyone across the football family. Football is for everybody. Recent events have been a reminder that club owners are merely custodians of their clubs, which are historic beacons that mean so much to fans and their communities. ECA believes that it is the responsibility of every Member Club to ensure that we develop football and leave it in a better place for the next generation; not to dismantle it purely for financial gain.
Al-Khelaifi stated: “I am honoured and humbled to have been appointed by my fellow ECA Executive Board Members as Chairman. The leadership, integrity and togetherness of our organisation has never been more required than at this pivotal moment in European football. I will provide my unconditional commitment to the entire football community: that means to all ECA Member Clubs from every European nation, and to the fans and communities they represent. I, alongside all my fellow ECA Board Members and Clubs, am looking to reinforce ECA in its role as the legitimate and singular voice of Europe’s clubs. Our game, adored by generations of supporters, will only prosper under unity, and it is our duty as the custodians of football to fulfil this obligation.”