Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (FC Bayern München) has been elected as chairman of the new European Club Association (ECA) executive board.
At its inaugural meeting in Nyon on Monday, the board also elected Joan Laporta (FC Barcelona) as first vice-chairman, and Umberto Gandini (AC Milan) and John McClelland (Rangers FC) both as vice-chairmen. The board appointed Maarten Fontein (AZ Alkmaar) as the ECA's fourth member on the Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC), serving alongside Peter Kenyon (Chelsea FC), Joan Laporta and Umberto Gandini. The PFSC comprises UEFA's vice-presidents, and representatives of the clubs, European professional leagues (EPFL) and the players' union FIFPro Europe. Michele Centenaro, currently UEFA's head of club competitions, was nominated as the ECA's first general secretary.
The ECA, spanning 103 clubs, is the independent body representing European football clubs, and was founded in January. The association signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UEFA to herald a new era of harmony within the European football family. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, UEFA recognises the ECA as the sole body representing the interests of European clubs – and the ECA recognises UEFA as the governing body of football at European level, and FIFA as the governing body of football at worldwide level.
At its inaugural general assembly in Nyon, the ECA's member clubs gave their support to UEFA's policy of home-grown players. The scheme requires that clubs taking part in Europe's top tournaments have a minimum of six locally-trained 'home-grown' players in their squads, increasing to eight players in the coming season.
The general assembly also identified a number of important areas where the ECA will work together with the football authorities with the future well-being of European football in mind. These include competitions and their formats, youth football and its development in tandem with the home-grown players' policy, and relations with UEFA, FIFA, league and players' bodies, European political institutions and national governments.
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