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European Club Association Background Guide

1. Enforcing the utilization of club-grown and grown
players in domestic and continental competition.
2. Problems with inter-continental European Matches.


Dear Delegates, Welcome to the ECA!
We hope that by now, your research is underway, and you all have a fair idea about
the agendas at hand. Kindly go through this study guide and take note of the questions
and the pointers given in the same as this study guide more or less represents the
direction the Executive Board hopes the debate will go towards. However, this guide is
by no means exhaustive and is not intended to be. Delegates are welcome (and
encouraged) to bring up any relevant points up for discussion.
This committee, as is obvious, is not the average MUN committee. Hence, we believe
it is appropriate that certain rigid rules are relaxed to a certain extent. For instance, the
dress code for the ECA may consist of football jerseys. Also, a football based
committee comprised entirely of football fans; banter is appreciated and encouraged to
the point where it does not interfere with the debate and the general workings of the
We understand that MUN conferences can be intimidating for first timers and tiring
for experienced delegates. We strongly recommend that the first timers take full part in
the proceedings of the committee, and not hesitate to ask members of the Executive
Board for clarifications or help before or during the conference. After all, the success of
the ECA is dependent on participation by each and every delegate.
Please feel free to contact us if any doubts persist

CHAIRPERSON | Arhat Chhabra

RAPPORTEUR | Farhan Shehab Umar



The European Club Association (ECA) is the sole, independent body directly
representing football clubs at European level. It replaced the G-14 Group and the
European Club Forum, both dissolved at the beginning of 2008. ECA was fully
recognised by UEFA and FIFA in a formal memorandum of understanding, which was
first signed in 2008,
validity extending up to 2022. The mandate of the body is outlined in both the terms
of thismemorandum of understanding [1]
ECA exists to directly represent football clubs and safeguard and promote their
interests on European club football matters. The European Club Association strives to
maintain a high level involvement in the decision-making process of football governing
bodies and to provide a platform for knowledge sharing, information and services to
its member clubs on European club football matters.
The ECA model is based on four key pillars, notably representation, participation,
cooperation and service. Throughout all its activities, it aims to be constructive and
challenging in order to really deliver results.ECA aspires to be the authoritative,
independent voice of European club football, the lifeblood of the European game with
its motto,
ECA exists for reasons more than just to represent to football clubs at a higher level. It
also exists to protect and promote European club football. Its aim is to create a new,
more democratic governance model that truly reflects the key role of the clubs. ECA
will act to strengthen each of the clubs for the benefit of all and to ensure that club
football is recognised by decision-makers as the most direct link to the fans and their
With a total of 220 Member Clubs, ECA has followed the trend of continued growth
over the last years positioning itself as a strong representative body on the European
football landscape. ECA's 220 Member Clubs in the 2015/16 season are drawn from 53
of the 54 UEFA Members Associations (the 54th being Gibraltar).


ECA's Membership Panel comprises two types of membership - Ordinary and

Associated. Club are inducted as members into the body for each membership cycle
following a set of general guidelines for membership which determine the type of
membership and the number under each type.
The identity of clubs eligible for ECA Ordinary Membership is established according
to their individual UEFA Club Coefficient Ranking. ECA Ordinary Membership is
granted for a duration of two years.It is to be noted that only Ordinary Members have
a voting right in the ECA General Assembly and that only club representatives from
ECA Ordinary Member Clubs can stand for ECA Executive Board Elections.
ECA Associated Members, unlike Ordinary Members, have no voting right at General
Assembly meetings and cannot stand for ECA Executive Board elections.
However,excluding those mentioned above, ECA Associated Members have the same
rights as Ordinary Members: they are invited to participate in all ECA Events and
contribute to any working group, committee or expert panel.As of 2015-16 football
season, the ECA has 106 ordinary members and 114 associated members.


ECA Executive Board

A 15-strong Executive Board elected by the General Assembly is at the head of the
European Club Association. With the support of the ECA Working Groups, each
dedicated to a specific area of expertise and composed of club representatives from a
wide geographical range, the ECA Executive Board takes decisions and represents the
association's stance at UEFA, FIFA and EU level. The ECA Executive Board is elected
by the General Assembly and represents Member Clubs from all four subdivisions.
ECA Working Groups
The Working Groups are an important cornerstone of ECA's organisational structure
as they provide active advice and support not only to the Executive Board, but also to
ECA representatives participating in UEFA, FIFA, EU committees and working groups.
Their contribution is key and strategic to the association. Alongside ECA Working
Groups, dedicated Task Forces give assistance on specific matters which require urgent
ECA Committees & Expert Panels
The inclusion of a Statutory Affairs Panel and a Women's Football Committee into the
structure of ECA was approved in 2013 after its statutes & organisational regulations
were amended.
The Statutory Affairs Panel is in charge of dealing with and analysing membership
applications, issues of eligibility of Members and the interpretation and application of
the ECA Statutes. The Statutory Affairs Panel is composed of two Executive Board
Members as well as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Legal Advisory
Panel. The Women's Football Committee acts as a platform where issues related to
women's football, be it on a European or on a worldwide level, can be discussed. The
members of the Women's Football Committee share expertise and knowledge in order
to promote women's football in general and aim at establishing a dialogue with
Similar to the working groups, committees and panels under the ECA umbrella, both
groups report directly to the Executive Board. As a result, the Executive Board has
more dedicated expert groups available to support the decision-making process.
The European Club Association offers several opportunities to its Members Clubs to
meet each other throughout the season, allowing them to exchange knowledge,
thoughts and ideas on various issues affecting the European club game.


ECA General Assembly

The ECA General Assembly is ECA's supreme body and consists of all ECA Member
Clubs. Ordinary Meetings of the General Assembly are held twice per year at a time
decided by the ECA Executive Board (traditionally at the beginning of each season in
September and in February/March). Each Member Club is invited to appoint one
representative to attend the General Assembly Meeting. The General Assembly,
amongst others, has the following powers:

to modify the ECA Statutes & Organisational Regulations;

to hold elections in accordance with the rules set out in Article 20 of the ECA
to approve the annual membership fees and the yearly budget proposed by the
ECA Executive Board;
to approve the accounts;
to appoint an independent auditor;
to discharge any ECA Executive Board Member;
to suspend or expel any Member Club from ECA upon a proposal of the ECA
Executive Board.

An Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting may be convened by the ECA Executive

Board, or at the request of at least 20 percent of ECA Members.
ECA Subdivision Meetings
Subdivision Meetings are regularly held throughout the season, and allow Member
Clubs from a specific Subdivision to exchange thoughts and ideas on current matters
of importance. Since 2013, Subdivision Meetings replaced Regional Meetings, given
the fact that the discussed topics are increasingly related to the coefficient ranking
position rather than the specific geographical region.The main purposes of Subdivision
Meetings are:

to create an additional opportunity to get a closer contact with ECA Member

Clubs of a similar size with a similar budget;
to be informed about club issues in different parts of Europe;
to give a platform to clubs to address particular issues to the ECA Executive
to increase the awareness of ECA and to inform the clubs about the internal
services provided by ECA.


ECA Workshops

In order to allow ECA Member Clubs to exchange views and ideas on specific topics
of interest, ECA regularly organises workshops with the participation of club experts
and external specialists. These workshops are organised exclusively for ECA Member
Clubs and take place at least once per season.
The aim of these workshops is not limited to exchanging thoughts and know-how, but
also to gather opinions and information on common interests, formulate common
goals and try to anticipate future developments. All participants are always invited to
share their experiences and ideas relating to the relevant topic in an extensive Q&A
Session following the expert presentations. So far, ECA organised six different
workshops on the following topics:

New Media (Munich, March 2011)

Fan Relations (Barcelona, October 2011)
Legal Affairs (Munich, May 2012)
Youth Academies (London, October 2012)
Sponsorship & Brand Building (Barcelona, April 2013)
Club Structure & Organisation (Frankfurt, May 2014)
In order to further develop the European club game, ECA maintains close ties with all
stakeholders involved in club football. Healthy relations with the football governing
bodies and institutions at European Union level are of outmost importance to ECA.
ECA enjoys an extremely fruitful partnership with UEFA, which has led to some major
achievements for club football over the past couple of years.


Mutual respect, cooperation and fairness: these words characterise the close-working
relationship between ECA and UEFA. In 2012, the signing of a renewed Memorandum
of Understanding served to further strengthen and reflect the commitment between
the organisations in securing football's future in Europe. Over the past years, ECA has
directly represented football clubs &actively participated in UEFA's Professional
Football Strategy Council (PFSC) and Club Competitions Committee (CCC). At the
14th ECA General Assembly in Stockholm, ECA and UEFA announced the renewal of
their Memorandum of Understanding until 31 May 2022. The renewed agreement
serves as a testament to the strength of the strategic partnership ECA and UEFA have
developed since 2008, with the new memorandum now including for example both
the 2018-21 UEFA club competition cycle and UEFA EURO 2020. The agreement sets a
new benchmark for the relationship between clubs and national associations,
providing clubs a greater role in top-level governance and an increased share of
funding. This agreement also set a working accord in motion between ECA & UEFA
whereby UEFA agreed to pay-out at least USD 200 million from the Euro 2020
The agreement also provided ECA with the powers to deliberate alongside UEFA on
the present international calendar with FIFA to avoid conflicts between domestic and
international fixtures.
Following the signing of a renewed Memorandum of Understanding with UEFA in
2012, ECA set out to achieve a similar agreement with the world governing body,
FIFA. Following several discussions and concrete proposals put forth by the ECA
Executive Board over the years, it eventually resulted in a collaboration agreement
between ECA and FIFA that, among other things, governs the distribution of benefits
generated by the FIFA World Cups. This agreement, which was extended recently in
March 2015 to cover the next two editions of the FIFA World Cup, stipulates that a
total of USD 209 million will be distributed among clubs releasing players to
participating teams in the 2018 & 2022 FIFA World Cups[3]. FIFA echoes the views of
the ECA that clubs are the lifeblood of football and this agreement comes in light of
their recognition of the fundamental importance of clubs to football as a global game:
it signifies recognition, protection and motivation for the clubs whose players light up
the international stage.
As the EU continues to develop its sports policy, ECA actively engages with the
various actors within the EU Institutions to ensure that these are fully aware of clubs'
views with the aim of shaping policy to meet the demands of clubs. Contacts and
relations with EU officials remain regular and are well established given that these
have been on-going since the creation of ECA in 2008.




-gr o wn and gr o wn player s in do m estic


(UEFA) defines,

Club-grown players as players who, regardless of their nationality, have

been trained by their current club for at least three years between the
age of 15 and 21 and
Home-grown players as players who, regardless of their nationality,
have been trained by their current club or another club within the same
national association for at least three years between the age of 15 and 21.

The debate of the inclusion of home-grown and club-grown players is one that has
been ongoing for the past decade. Ever since the Eu
Bosman ruling in 1995, one of the biggest challenges posed to European club football is
that the richest clubs have been able to hoard the best players, thus making it easier
for them to dominate in both domestic and contine
brainchild, the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, which was implemented by the
UEFA on a continental level and several football associations on a domestic level,
appeared to put a quick
rag to riches stories
clubs that spent excessively, it appears things have gone South once again. The
monstrous growth in television & sponsorship revenue in the recent years has enabled
clubs to dig deeper into their pockets and use the transfer market to fill out their team
sheets rather than their own academy.
Traditionally speaking, football clubs have gone from being a local/communal identity
to an international business brand that employs corporate greed over a sense of
sporting purpose when it comes to filling out their team sheets. Raking in hundreds of
millions in revenue, clubs in this era particularly have fewer incentives to train their
own players or give a genuine chance to young players from their region. This trend is

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also exacerbated by the increasingly unreliable financial compensation received by

clubs for having trained young players who leave early, and the ability of many
European clubs to 'poach' young players from the age of 16 from across the European
UEFA has already implemented rules to ensure the inclusion of the home-grown and
club-grown players in squads registered for continental competitions under UEFA.
Likewise, several other domestic football associations (FAs) have also introduced
similar regulations governing the inclusion of home-grown or club-grown players.
The problem is, however, with the actual utilization of these players in matches, and
not with the inclusion of these players in the registered squad. Rules implemented thus
have seen a quota system of sorts whereby a number of spots on the registered squad
are reserved for home-grown and club-grown players. Funnily enough, clubs like
Manchester City, Paris-Saint Germain or even Real Madrid for that matter have been
known in the recent past to register sufficient home-grown or club-grown players for
both domestic & continental competitions in their squad, but these players are hardly
ever given a chance to showcase their play on the field. The reason for this is that the
existing rules regarding the inclusion of home-grown & club-grown players hand the
clubs no obligation or do not make it mandatory to field a certain number of such
players in the starting line-up
Efforts as such
have not been made lately to force the issue by any governing body after the failure of

Unless the utilization of these players is enforced by the authorities, clubs will not be
encouraged to carry out local training of young players, and this will consequently
decrease the openness and fairness of European competitions phenomenally. And as
stated earlier, by giving in to this trend of hoarding good players from overseas and
eliminating their reliance on the local pool of talented youngsters, clubs also lose their
local/communal identities which is essentially what they represent or is their
existential purpose so to speak.
The question of limiting foreign players in the starting line-ups and promoting use of
domestic players has been around since 1999. FIFA & UEFA together, in the past
rule stated that at the beginning of each match, each club must field at least six players
eligible to play for the national team of the country of the club. However, there were
no restrictions on the number of foreign players fielded or on the substitutes to avoid
non-sportive constraints on the coaches, which meant the match could potentially end
with 3+8 players on the field i.e. 8 foreign players.
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The objective of this rule was to restore the national identity of football clubs that
have increasingly resorted to fielding foreign players in their squad. It was also
intended as a measure to reduce the increasing gap between the larger and smaller
football clubs. The following terms were set as the preamble by FIFA for the

1. The foundations of football are harmony and balance between national team
football and club football.
2. The clubs' loss of national identity is endangering the former and has led to
increasing inequality among the latter, thereby widening the financial and
sporting gap between the two, reducing the competitiveness of club
competitions and increasing the predictability of their results.
3. Safeguarding
a. the education and training of young players,
b. training clubs, and
c. the values of effort and motivation in football, particularly for young
players, is a fundamental element of protecting national teams and
restoring sporting and financial balance to club football.
4. The universal development of football over the last century would not continue
if there were increasing inequalities between continents, countries and
protagonists in football.
With these in mind FIFA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FIFPro on
November 2006 that stated that they had agreed to an incremental implementation of
the rule starting at the beginning of the 2010 11 season to give clubs time to adjust
their teams over a period of several years.
However, the 6+5 rule was dismissed as illegal by the European Union and was
rejected by the European Parliament on 9 May 2008. The rule was said to be violating
both Article 48 of the EC Treaty and the Bosman ruling following which FIFA
President Sepp Blatter met with representatives of European football leagues to explain
the new rule and to garner support for it. At an informal meeting of the European
sports ministers in Biarritz in November 2008, where FIFA was seeking support for its
proposed rule, it was declared by the ministers that they wish to "encourage further
discussion on initiatives put forward by international federations to encourage the
teams of professional clubs in each country to develop the presence of athletes capable
of qualifying for national teams, in compliance with EU law, to strengthen the regional
and national roots of professional sport . However, EU commissioners repeated their
standpoint that the "6+5 rule was based on direct discrimination on the grounds of
nationality, and was thus against one of the fundamental principles of EU law.The
independent Institute for European Affairs (INEA) was then commissioned by FIFA to
investigate whether the rule was legal under the erstwhile EU law and on 26 February
2009, the INEA released an expert opinion declaring that the 6+5
can be
implemented in line with European Community law. However, a little over a year
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later, in June 2010, the ruling was scrapped by the European Commission as it deemed
that such a proposal would contravene EU labour laws.
Despite numerous futile attempts to implement the rule, the following declarations
were made on the resolution which was adopted during the FIFA Congress in Sydney
on 29 and 30 May 2008.
Member associations of FIFA decide to:
1. fully support the objectives of "6+5" as laid down at the above Congress,
2. request the presidents of FIFA and UEFA to continue to explore for Europe,
together with the world of sport
football's protagonists, but also the
International Olympic Committee and the international federations
possible means within the limits of the law to ensure that these crucial sporting
objectives be achieved,
3. give the FIFA President the mandate to, if necessary, take similar steps on the
other continents in co-operation with the relevant confederation.
Following this resolution, several sporting bodies started to look at alternative means
to achieve a similar outcome. UEFA on the other hand was well aware of the
working on a different regulation, one that promoted usage of academy players, on the
-grown and club-grown
players regulations
regulations did not discriminate based on nationality nor did they seek to implement a
quota on the team for domestic players over the foreign players. Home-grown & Clubgrown player regulations were clearly defined such that players can qualify under
either of these categories regardless of their nationality and this helped avoid conflict

implement mandatory changes in the starting line-up, the Home-grown & Club-grown
player regulations only seek to include academy players in the overall squad and thus
cannot effect control over the team fielded by the clubs during matches. Though UEFA
can be credited for trying to bring about a change, fact is that these regulations have
done little to convince teams to return to old ways of using their academy products
over foreign imports.
One key point to note, however, is that the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations
implemented by the UEFA is itself under review with court cases pending over
allegations that it is not in line with the EU Law and is in violation of laws governing
undesirable business practices and is therefore illegal. Considering sanctions have
already been issued on clubs found violating these regulations when the regulations

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despite the legal

Questions the discussions are expected to answer

To what extent is the usage of foreign players by clubs corroding their
local/communal identities?
What possible reforms can be undertaken to ensure that clubs retain their local
How can clubs be encouraged to prefer academy products & local talents over
foreign players?
Is it fair to force clubs to include Home-Grown & Club-grown players in the
starting line-up? Why? Why not?
What are the advantages & disadvantages of using home-grown talent over
players from abroad?
What are legal aspects to be considered when implementing rules that enforce
the utilization of home-grown talent?
Is it feasible to build a football club as an international business brand whilst
maximizing utilization of home-grown talent and retention of local/communal
How and to what extent should the utilization of home-grown and club-grown
players be enforced?

References &Further Research


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European football, be it club football or international football, is recently faced with a
plethora of issues that need addressing. A wide range of these issues have been
repeatedly discussed in the past ranging from the use of technology to aid referees, to
structural reforms in the existing setup of continental competitions and extent of fan
control in day to day club activities specifically focusing on fan-owned clubs, usage of
fireworks inside the stadium, hooliganism and in extreme cases, even racism.Repeated
dialogue on these issues on various platforms have failed to translate into concrete
solutions citing complications such as lack of legal clarity, run-ins with unethical
practices, etc. Considering we live in the 21st century,where the sport has evolved into
a lot more than just weekend entertainment and given the sense of attachment it
induces in its followers, as overseeing bodies, we cannot let it be marred by such
hindrances that are a blatant threat to the integrity & spirit of the sport and can
potentially uproot the passion millions have for it. ECA, as a body with legal
capabilities and one which maintains constant association with other legal bodies, can
foster the necessary solution-oriented talks and work with these entities on
establishing frameworks that can bring about these reforms.

Use of technology to aid referees
Needless to say, evolution of technology has increased human reliance on it and it is
only natural for lovers of the sport to think that introduction of technology in the sport
can help referees make better decisions and help reduce blunders that often change the
game. The reason for increasing calls on usage of technology is simple the inability of
referees and linesmen to make calls when out of position or not in view of the incident
in question and the
The debate over the introduction of goal-line technology was prolonged and the saga
eventually ended with FIFA giving in to the demands after several high-profile errors
were committed that vastly affected a few results in recent tournaments. However,
FIFA &the confederational authorities have always maintained an apprehensive
outlook towards usage of technology. Goal-line technology is just one of the several
other reasons due to which there have been calls for allowing officials to use video
technology or other means to review incidents before making a decision.

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values itself, preservation of universality of the game i.e. the game must incorporate
the same rules at every level of play. FIFA President Sepp Blatter argued that
implementation of technology would not be feasible below the top level of
competition, thus negating the universal nature of the game. Additionally, he pointed
out that the usage of technology to review decisions would affect the fluidity with
which the game is played. In other sports, replay technology demands a break in the
action, which is a luxury that cannot be accommodated in football due to its
continuous nature. Arguments were also made that the implementation of technology
others. This was the case post-implementation of goal-line technology whereby
several stakeholders (club owners, football associations, player bodies) called for the
implementation of video technology to review offside calls, penalty incidents and
other game-changing on-field offargument ties extensively
into the fluidity of the game, which will be interrupted if every controversial call made
by the referee in a match requires confirmation by replay technology. But stakeholders
claim that the usage of technology eliminates the need for retrospective action on
infringers, which are often debatable, and thus allowsfor them to be handled within
the scope of the rules of the game (i.e. on-pitch).
Hence, usage of technology is a problem that remains a question yet to be answered in
football matches and if the ECA can pioneer reforms in this area (limited to European
matches),it can spur a worldwide change of practices in the sport.

Reforms to the Continental Football setup

The question of reforming the existing setup of continental football in Europe arose in
the late 2000s when the UEFA Intertoto Cup was merged with the UEFA Cup to form
a 2nd tier continental competition for clubs that was branded as the UEFA Europa
League.This transition consisted of a format change that increased the number of
participating teams. Europa League has had its woes for over half a decade since its
inception, but the whole argument of reforming the setup stemmed from the absence
of other competitions that used to exist alongside earlier such as the UEFA Cup
Cup and the UEFA Intertoto Cup itself. These calls for reform cited an underrepresentation of the lower-coefficient member associations and at the same time, an
over-representation of the higher ranked associations as their primary reason.
Europa League, with an enlarged format, despite the fact that it can accommodate
more clubs, employs a rigorous qualifying phase that happens over 4 rounds similar to
the Champions League. The purpose of the qualifying phase is to give chances to top
clubs in all the member nations of UEFA to play in the main competition that starts
from the group-stage onwards. Clubs that go through the qualifying phase include
clubs that lost in the qualifying phase of the Champions League, top clubs (by league
table positions in the previous season) from the lower-ranked member associations,
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cup-winners from each of the member associations& top-placed clubs in the UEFA Fair
Play Index. Top clubs from the higher-ranked member associations are given an
automatic berth in the group-stage of the competition and hence
through the qualification phase. The number of automatic seats allotted to each
member association of UEFA in the group stage is proportionate to their positioning in
the coefficients ranking table. The format is nearly identical to that of the Champions
League. However, contentions arose owing to the fact that nearly 160 clubs compete
in the qualifying phase but only 22 make it out to the group-stage, most of which are
once again teams from top-ranked associations.
The main contention here is that, at the end of the day, only clubs belonging to about
40 of the 54 UEFA member associations get a taste of real continental football. The
remaining member associations claim that they have little to no representation in these
competitions and the chances of improving domestic football within their nations are
heavily hampered due to constantly being kept out of these competitions by having to
participate in a qualifying phase and face bigger teams before the main competition
even starts. Another issue with the qualifying round is that the clubs from lowerranked associations have to go through nearly four rounds of qualification matches
before securing a berth in the main group-stage. This means that they have to play 8
games i.e. 4 progressive two-legged knockout rounds before they can even play in the
actual tournament.
Now even though all of this happens in the UEFA Champions League as well, problem
is with the Europa League in general because of several reasons. Europa League,unlike
its predecessor the UEFA Cup, due to both its elaborate format & the increased
number of teams, has more games to be played and thus requires participating teams
to be engaged in both domestic & continental football throughout the season. Europa
League also lacks the level of commercial coverage that the Champions League gets
due to not being the premier continental competition. This essentially means that the
competition prize pool & broadcasting revenue sharing pool are drastically reduced, to
at best asixth of that of the Champions League (combined). Therefore, more teams,
more games, but much lesser money with much lesser representation has discouraged
a lot of teams from taking part in the competition. There have been several instances
of teams that have qualified contemplating withdrawal from the competition owing to
lack of financial incentives and heightened expenditures due to having to travel abroad
for more games than before.
Another problem with Europa League is that the matches happen on Thursdays to
compensate for lack of commercial coverag
Champions League matches. UEFA saw this as an option that would attract more
broadcasters and thus more revenue, but it turned out to be even more of a headache
as it disrupted the domestic league schedules of the member associations. With
domestic matches being played on weekends, Europa League matches on Thursday
means teams constantly find themselves playing 2 matches in a span of 4 days. If the
constant travel and the stretched continental schedule
long-term effect on

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fatigue, matches on Thursdays followed by one again on Sundays have

had both players and managers worn-out and begging for mercy at many points. Even
several associations have vehemently criticized the Europa League for its elongated
format and ill-timed matches.
Many club owners have, in the past, openly talked about their club having to endure
through the hardships of Europa League to earn substantially lesser amount of money,
only to have most of it negated by the associated expenses. Due to the lack of
hindrance to growing clubs and a nuisance to the established clubs. Players too lack
the motivation to play in a competition that is lacklustre and do not like to be
associated with the obscurity while being overshadowed by counterparts playing in
the larger and more successful Champions League.
reforms be discussed by the members of the ECA.
UEFA has been well-aware of the issues surrounding Europa League in the past and
have considered their own reforms. One of the suggested reforms included merging
both the Europa League and the Champions League to create one premier tournament
of 64 teams to eliminate coverage issues and increase the prize pool. However, the
details on how the distribution of participating teams would be was unclear. This idea
was later shelved due to the increased complexities involving even more matches and
as a result eventual scheduling headaches. Another suggestion, which was brought up
as recently as September 2015, was the creation of another tournament for teams that
fail to advance from the qualifying rounds of both the Champions League and the
Europa League. It was suggested that the competition could be reserved for teams
from smaller countries that never get to participate in the group stages of the existing
cups stating that it would give them more opportunities to test their mettle on a
continental level. This idea was said to be one of the considerations as part of UEFA
President Michel Platini's strategy of giving smaller nations greater access to
competitions, which was also the primary motive behind the expansion of the
European Championship to 24 teams and the spread-hosting of Euro 2020 across the
continent(different stages to be held in different nations). However,no concrete
proposals have been put forth on this front yet.
Meanwhile, a few of the rich clubs in Europe, backed by their owners & sponsors,
personal business motives. As radical as it sounds, a few experts have themselves
argued in favour of this idea more often than not and even suggested that UEFA itself
bring about this change. Although no reform of this sort has been actively pursued by
any member association or clubs yet, members of the ECA need to remain wary of the
It also remains to be seen as to how the planned UEFA Nations League, which replaces
the international friendlies between European nations, commencing in the 2018-19
season will affect the schedules of domestic & continental club football given it will
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account for an increase in the number of international matches played. Members of

the ECA will also to need to handle this by identifying the foreseeable associated
issues and coming up with solutions for the same.
Fan Control in European Football
Fan control in football has two sides to it. One side talks about the control exerted
over the club by fans and the other about how the club controls or rather treats its
Fan-owned clubs tend to operate in a friendlier and more transparent manner,
constantly engaging their fans in dialogue & activities before making decisions on club
administration and day-to-day matters. Due to collective share of responsibility, such
clubs often tend to be run better and very rarely find themselves at the centre of issues
such as financial or administrative turmoil.
Clubs owned & run by other entities, however, often tend to look like crowd-pleasers
but have their own ulterior motives in play which they would resort to any means to
satisfy. Such clubs often tend to disregard fan opinion and this results in alienation of
the fans that cause fans to form groups hoping to get a better say on club matters.
Given the passionate nature of the sport, these groups more often than not, tend to be
aggressive in their approach and abusive in their support of the club. Due to the
of regard for fans, they fall behind on their duties in exerting proper fan
control or imparting good qualities of sportsmanship in their fans and this often leads
problems such as hooliganism and even racism.
These issues in general are not localized to any particular European nation, club or
decades and have constantly indulged in activities such as hooliganism which include
physical abuse of opponent fans & players by throwing objects at them and even
violence in some cases. Fans also light flares and other potentially dangerous fireworks
within the stadium and sometimes even throw them onto the sections of opposite
support or field of play. There have been many instances of play being delayed,
suspended or even abandoned owing to poor fan control. Fans also indulge in shaming,
with a great disregard to insensitivity, by displaying inappropriate banners and
chanting songs that contain targeted abuses that hurt sentiments of the opponents.
Perhaps the most notable example of hooliganism in football was during the 1985
European Cup Final between Juventus & Liverpool at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.
Before the start of the match, charging Liverpool fans caused the fans in the neutral
stand to retreat against a wall which then collapsed and killed 39 fans and injured 600
more. Although, it was debated that it was poor crowd control in the stadium that
caused the disaster, English clubs were banned indefinitely from continental football
by UEFA for exerting poor fan control. Although the ban was subsequently lifted after
5 years, the fact remains hooliganism was a widespread menace in England back then
and it had often translated into physical abuse & violence.
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Perhaps, the worst of all, is fan-led racism within stadiums during football matches.
Racism, although a concept much thought to be something the modern world has
still very much prevalent in countries such as Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain & Turkey
and this has often deterred players whose ancestry can be traced to other continents
(African countries especially) from plying their trade in these countries. There have
been several instances where the club owners themselves have encouraged fan-led
racism by allowing them put up racist banners, leading on racist chants and throwing
bananas onto the field of play. Many players, notably Mario Balotelli& Kevin-Prince
Boateng, both of whom have Ghanaian roots but are citizens of European nations,
have stormed off the pitch following racial abuse targeted towards them by fans.
Problems such as these must be rectified by clubs and the owners must ensure that the
spirit of the game is upheld. Members of the ECA play a vital role in discussing
measures to counter such fan-led activities that hinder the sport and prevent clubs
from growing by constantly throwing their reputation under the bus.
Questions the discussions are expected to answer
How can the need for real-time usage of technology in football be justified?
What are advantages & disadvantages of using technology to review decisions
in football?
To what extent are the existing problems in the continental club football setup
affecting clubs and its players?
What possible reforms can be made to the existing continental football setup to
ensure the growth of football clubs and the sport itself in lower-ranked nations?
To what extent is fan control possible in football?
How can clubs exert better control over fans during football matches?
What are the other problems affecting European football and the effective
solutions to tackle them?
References & Further Research
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o European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL)
o FIFPro (International Federation of Professional Footballers)
o International Football Association Board (IFAB)
o Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
o AFC (Asian Football Confederation)
o CAF (ConfdrationAfricaine de Football)
o CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean
Association Football)
o CONMEBOL (ConfederacinSudamericana de Ftbol)
o OFC (Oceania Football Confederation)
o UEFA (Union of European Football Associations)
o FIFA (FdrationInternationale de Football Association)

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During research, delegates are expected to extrapolate information obtained on

both the agendas and form links between them. This is absolutely crucial to the
committee as the Executive Board expects a smooth transition from one agenda
to the other and the possibility of a unanimous outcome relies heavily on the
The information provided in the beginning with regard to the administrative

structure of the ECA and the founding agreements of the organisation are there
to serve as a reminder of the capabilities of this committee. The Executive
Board urges all delegates to act in their respective capacities and undertake all
measures necessary to achieve a favourable outcome for their club as a member
of the ECA.
Delegates are urged to visit the sites mentioned earlier and do a scan of their
archives for more detailed research. It is advised that delegates go through the
pages containing several opinionated articles, interviews with club staff &
officials of governing authorities to develop a deeper understanding of the
issues at hand while gathering different perspectives as they approach a
solution to these matters.
The committee, although outside the mandate of the United Nations, will be
following the UNA-USA Rules of Procedure. So delegates are requested to
familiarize themselves with the same. However, this is entirely tentative and
any changes introduced in the Rules of Procedure by the Executive Board shall
be made known to the delegates on the first day of the conference.
It is advised that delegates always possess necessary substantial material to
support their claims and produce them whenever requested to do so. Only the
following shall be considered as binding proofs on any statement/claim made in
the committee that requires verification (in that order).
1. Official ECA release documents
2. Official UEFA release documents
3. Official FIFA release documents
4. Reuter Reports
5. Official release documents of FIFPro, CAS, IFAB & EPFL
6. Official club releases by members of the ECA
7. Official release documents from the other 5 continental confederations
8. Official release documents of the national football associations that are
members of FIFA
The verdict on the verification of statements/claims made based on any
other document shall be at the discretion of the Executive Board.

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