Juventus President, Andrea Agnelli, has resigned as President of the European Club Association (ECA) as well as stepped down from his position in the UEFA Executive Committee.
Agnelli, who since 2012 has been President of the ECA, an umbrella body representing the interests of 246 leading European clubs, in association with Real Madrid’s Fiorentino Perez, Manchester United’s Joel Glazier, Liverpool’s John Henry and Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke, has been in forefront in the push for the European Super League (ESL) competition.
The ESL is expected to rival the UEFA Champions League with 12 of the most wealthiest and storied clubs in Europe: AC Milan, Arsenal , Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur as “founding clubs” with three others expected to participate at its maiden stage.
The ECA which held its meeting on Sunday night, chaired by Edwin Van der Saar (with none of the ‘prodigal 12’ honouring the invitations), re-instated its “strong opposition” to the ESL.
“In light of today’s reports on the subject of a so-called breakaway league, ECA, as the body representing 246 leading clubs across Europe, reiterates its stated commitment to working on developing the UEFA Club Competitions (UCCs) model with UEFA for the cycle beginning 2024 and that a ‘closed super league model’ to which media articles refer would be strongly opposed by ECA.
“They added that the ECA refers “to the position adopted by its Executive Board at its meeting last Friday 16th April, namely that it supports a commitment to work with UEFA on a renewed structure for European Club Football as a whole post 2024, including proposed changes to the UEFA Club Competitions post 2024.
“With ECA’s support, UEFA’s Executive Committee is being asked to endorse these commitments at its meeting on 19th April along with pursuing efforts to reach an agreement on the future relationship between ECA and UEFA.
“The ECA Executive Board will be convening over the coming days to take appropriate decisions in light of any further developments.”
UEFA, in a statement co-signed by the national associations of England, Spain, Italy and those countries’ respective top leagues, vowed to ban players and teams from other competitions if they become involved in the Super League.
FIFA has also shown disdain for the breakaway ESL competition, advocating calm and constructive dialogue.
FC Porto, French clubs and all German clubs including Bayern Munich, Liepzig and Borussia Dortmund have announced their position which is a total rejection of the ESL and supporting the reforms of UEFA.
“This Super League is a club for the super-rich, who are disrespecting the long-established structure of football. It is an attack on UEFA club competitions, but above all on the national leagues.
It is cynical and hypocritical to say that this change is for the good of football and is what football fans want, as are those behind this league. We can be proud that all German clubs opposed this league and we will strive to ensure that the clubs involved are expelled from all national and international competitions.”