ECA: UEFA third competition ready to be introduced
Representatives of 160 clubs during the two-day meeting co-created the concepts of the European cups for 2021 – 2024. "We seem to be entering last stage of the discussion on how the European football in terms of the international competitions will look. After discussions within the ECA, among the clubs and with UEFA Club Competitions Committee, we recognized the issue that many clubs particularly from smaller and medium associations facing and that is the question regarding growing financial gap and participation gap between top clubs in Europe and the rest. As ECA we go on a very right direction meeting the objectives that were set out as increase the participation and to provide more guaranteed access also to associations and for clubs from smaller leagues and smaller countries" – Dariusz Mioduski said.
Further discussions will take place between ECA and UEFA. Final decisions regarding introduction of new 32 teams and reduction of the UEFA Europa League participants from 48 to 32 teams are expected to be reached before the end of the year at the UEFA Executive Committee meeting after consultation with the UEFA Club Competitions Committee (its member is also President Mioduski). In the proposed option, in total, 96 clubs would participate in the European Competitions.
Clubs will have to be key players in the elaboration of the IMC as we are the only stakeholders in the industry that bear the entrepreneurial and sporting risks - added the ECA chairman, Juventus President Andrea Agnelli.
ECA supports the European Federation in the further implementation of the principles of Financial Fair Play, whose regulations have to provide better transparency in the functioning of clubs. The procedures for using the VAR system were also analyzed, which significantly improved the accuracy of decisions made by referees and should be introduced at the level of European Cups. Much attention was also paid to the shape of the transfer market: the role of football agents, encouraging clubs to train players themselves and clear funding rules.