Newcastle United Take Part In European Summit
On a positive note though it surely has to be a good thing when Newcastle are involved in organisations where there is influence to be had.
The latest ECA General Assembly took place in Geneva over the last couple of days (10th & 11th September).
Just in case you were wondering; ECA is the European Clubs Association, this replaced G14 and the European Club Forum in 2008 when England were awarded five places in the new organisation. It is the sole body directly representing clubs at European level.
Those five teams were Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United. Extra spaces have been allocated to England since then and Manchester City, Everton, Villa, Fulham and Spurs have been added (I’ll not be so childish as to point out which other Premier League club isn’t involved in this EUROPEAN association).
It currently represents 201 clubs which are drawn from every one of the 53 UEFA national associations.
Football clubs will be loathe to admit it but clearly any organisation with a restricted membership must have benefits for those inside it, compared to those with their noses pushed against the window looking in from the outside.
As the ECA website details;
To our member clubs, we offer services, representation and information and to the main stakeholders, we offer the know-how and experience from the daily life of football as a sport but also as a business.
Among the concessions the ECA have forced through on behalf of all clubs is the moving of international matches to Tuesdays, allowing players to return to their clubs earlier.
They also forced through a commitment that European based players would not have to take part in more than one friendly for their country played in other continents.
As always money is at the heart of things and it was the ECA who pressurised UEFA (quite rightly in my opinion) into the decision to pay all clubs whose players appeared at European Championships and World Cups.
They also claim ‘….to support and uphold the sporting values and principles on which European football is based’, I’m guessing that last one might not come very high on the list.
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