Wednesday 18 October 2017

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis appointed to UEFA's executive committee

Arsenal FC CEO Ivan Gazidis speaks during the Western Sydney Wanderers Gold Star Luncheon at The Westin on July 14, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Arsenal FC CEO Ivan Gazidis speaks during the Western Sydney Wanderers Gold Star Luncheon at The Westin on July 14, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Matt Slater

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has been appointed to UEFA's executive committee as one of two representatives from the European Club Association.

Gazidis, 52, will join new ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli on the ExCo, and becomes the second representative from the English game, alongside former Manchester United boss David Gill.

Juventus president Agnelli replaces Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as the ECA's second ever leader.

The ECA is the successor organisation to the G-14 group of Europe's most powerful clubs and now represents the interests of 220 clubs from 53 countries.

In an ECA statement, Agnelli said: "My predecessor, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has set a great example and has set the bar of achievements at a very high level.

"I am looking forward, together with the executive board and the administration, to build on his significant results as we manage ECA in the coming years.

"It is a huge honour and a great responsibility the European clubs have entrusted me with. I am looking forward to working closely with all stakeholders within the game in order to protect, promote and develop club football at all levels across Europe."

As well as finding a new leader, the ECA also elected 11 board members and named its four representatives to UEFA's professional football strategy council.

The four representatives are Barcelona's Josep Maria Bartomeu, Ed Woodward of Manchester United, PSG's Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Celtic boss Peter Lawwell.

While these appointments are significant in terms of influence and prestige, perhaps the most interesting conversations at the ECA's 19th general congress in Geneva this week took place behind closed doors, as Bartomeu, Al-Khelaifi and others met to discuss their differences after a contentious transfer window.

The ECA statement said the leaders of Europe's biggest clubs met in "break-out sessions to discuss upcoming challenges and priorities in European club football".

Among the subjects discussed were the length of the transfer window, the future of UEFA's financial fair play rules and the next iteration of Europe's club competitions between 2021-24.

These break-out sessions followed opening addresses from FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

"It was agreed that further discussions will be held on these matters to develop an ECA position following which it will be shared and discussed with the relevant stakeholders of the professional game," the ECA added.

Press Association

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Editor's Choice

Also in Sport