The ECA General Assembly meeting in Geneva announced this week that Welsh Premier League Clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds this season will receive a financial boost.
Ian Williams, The New Saints Chief Operating Officer and FAW Councillor for the Welsh Premier League, joined representatives from 149 other ECA Member Clubs at the 13th European Club Association (ECA) General Assembly.
“We welcome this news as each of the Welsh clubs, including The New Saints, Airbus UK Broughton, Bangor City and Aberystwyth Town who all competed in the qualifying rounds of either the Champions League or the Europa League this season, will financially benefit from the distribution of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) financial sanctions that have been imposed upon clubs that have failed to meet the guidelines. Each club will receive an additional 30,140 Euro along with a share of the 10 million Euro surplus revenue generated in each competition,”’ enthused Williams.
At the meeting, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reminded ECA Member Clubs of the importance of continuing to operate responsibly within the Financial Fair Play regulations set by UEFA and confirmed that 24 Million EURO would be made available for immediate distribution to clubs. 80% of this will be allocated to Champions League and Europa League Group Stage participants in equal shares. The remaining 20% would be distributed amongst all clubs participating in the qualifying rounds.
A number of other key issues were discussed during the two-day session. They included an opening day discussion about the Youth Working Group and the extension of clubs participating in the UEFA Youth League. The importance of establishing technical boards within clubs to encourage a philosophy of developing and encouraging young players to make the transition from academy to senior football was also agreed.
There was also discussion regarding the competition regulations for the 2015/18 cycle, the marketing of competitions and the potential revenue generation through both media and commercial opportunities.
At the plenary session on day two, the clubs welcomed the UEFA President, Michel Platini, who re-iterated his intention to seek a third term as UEFA President and hailed the great relationship between UEFA and ECA. He reviewed how this has led to some significant achievements over the last couple of years, notably the elaboration of the Financial Fair Play regulations. He also called upon the clubs to further strengthen this partnership in the future to allow for a solid and united European football family.
ECA Members were also updated on the first Qatar 2022 Task Force Meeting and the impact of a switch from summer to winter. The clubs also received a presentation on the ECA Charter on Integrity in Football to which all clubs were invited to sign up. They were also invited to actively cooperate with all initiatives organised by European and local stakeholders with the aim of strengthening Integrity and fighting the fixing of matches.