Within a week of Jerome Valcke rejecting calls from Europe’s leading clubs’ for compensation over moving the Qatar World Cup, FIFA appears to be preapred to reach a compromise deal with the clubs.
The FIFA general secretary angered clubs and leagues with his comments, shortly after the Qatar 2022 task force recommended the finals be played in November/December.
“There will be no compensation,” Valcke told reporters. “There are seven years to reorganise.”
But, after a meeting of the European Club Association’s executive board in Nyon on Tuesday, the clubs remain confident of striking a deal.
The 214-member ECA is in the process of renewing a 2008 agreement with FIFA that saw world football’s governing body pay clubs $70 million from Brazil 2014 World Cup revenues in exchange for them permitting their players to participate in the competition.
“The board expressed its willingness to take up discussions with FIFA to find a serious and fair solution,” an ECA spokesman told World Football Insider.
Last week, ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s message to FIFA was that European clubs and leagues “cannot be expected to bear the costs for such rescheduling”. This week compromise appears to be in the air.
In comments to the Associated Press on Tuesday, Rummenigge said that he had held “positive” discussions with FIFA president Sepp Blatter in recent days about compensation for club and leagues which will be inconvenienced by the decision to switch the 2022 finals to a winter date.
“I am still positive and optimistic that there is the possibility to find a serious and fair solution,” Rummenigge said after an ECA board meeting.
FIFA may be prepared to pay more than $150 million in its new agreement with the ECA, according to a Sky News report.
The ECA has a similar working agreement with UEFA which guarantees clubs a 150 million euro ($168 million) share of 2016 European Championship revenues.