Europe’s leading clubs will have a greater say in the way the game is run and will receive compensation for releasing players on international duty, following an agreement between the game’s governing bodies and the leading club sides.
UEFA and FIFA have confirmed they they reached an historic agreement with the G-14 group representing many of Europe’s leading clubs.
The respective parties have signed a letter of intent, which, they say, “starts a new chapter in the relations between the governing bodies and the clubs”.
“The development is very much in line with the sporting and political philosophy of FIFA President Joseph S Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, who seek to involve all key stakeholders in the decision-making processes of football and to find workable solutions within the football family itself. The European clubs share this philosophy,” the statement added
The G-14 group has clashed with the governing bodies for a number of years, even threatening to form a breakaway Super League. FIFA and UEFA said the group would disband once a final agreement has been signed.
On January 21, UEFA will propose the creation of a new body representing the interests of European clubs. The new body will have more than 100 members, including one from each of Europe’s 53 national associations.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter described the agreement as a turning point in modern football.
“Something very special has happened today,” he said. “The clubs, which are the basic cells of our game and fundamental to its thriving, are at last to become a part of the pyramidal football organisation.
“Today’s letter of intent gives a big boost to football. We have reached this positive conclusion by taking care of the legitimate aspirations and requests of clubs to access the decision-making levels of international football.”
Blatter’s sentiments were echoed by his counterpart at UEFA, President Michel Platini.
“The demands of the clubs to be heard and to be associated, also financially, are well-founded,” he said. “The letter of intent signed today is not a political step, but a logical one.”
Speaking on behalf of the clubs, Barcelona president Joan Laporta praised the Platini, stressing that “friendship and confidence is the basis for our game. I compliment the UEFA President on having implemented the change he promised when he came to office. It is a victory for all.”