By Andrew Warshaw
September 5 – European club football entered a new era today as Juventus president Andrea Agnelli (pictured) took over from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as only the second ever head of the European Clubs Association, bringing to an end the German’s nine-year reign.
The ECA, which represents more than 200 clubs, also chose Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis to join Agnelli on the UEFA executive committee as the voice of the clubs, starting later this month. UEFA is set to give the ECA’s two club delegates full voting rights when it meets for an extraordinary congress in Geneva on March 20.
Rummenigge’s legacy will be hard to emulate as Agnelli admitted by saying his predecessor “set a great example and has set the bar of achievements at a very high level.”
At its general assembly in Geneva, the ECA also elected 11 board members and named its four representatives to UEFA’s professional football strategy council as Barcelona’s Josep Maria Bartomeu, Ed Woodward of Manchester United, PSG’s Qatari owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Celtic boss Peter Lawwell.
Meanwhile the outgoing Rummenigge delivered a farewell address on the first day of the ECA session in which he said his organisation “has achieved more than we dared to hope.”
“Over the past 10 years we have never given up our sense of solidarity,” said the Bayern Muinich boss. “The small ones understand the big ones, and the big ones bear responsibility for the small ones. The reform of the European club competitions has proven this again. Everyone will benefit from increased revenue, and we have increased solidarity payments by more than 40pc from €199m to €284m. I am proud of that.”
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