UEFA hails creation of European Club Association

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UEFA on Monday announced the creation of the European Club Association (ECA), a move it said would be the start of a new era of the game.

The ECA will consist of more than 100 clubs across Europe, including representatives from every one of the 53 national associations of UEFA, and will effectively end the role held by The G14, which represents 18 of the continent's richest football clubs.

"The creation of the ECA paves the way for harmony to return to football between the governing bodies and the clubs," said UEFA, the governing body of European football.

UEFA signed a memorandum of understanding that means it would recognise the ECA as the sole body representing the interests of clubs at European level.

"After being elected and confronting the problems in football, I said that the game, that dialogue and the exchange of ideas was the solution," said UEFA president Michel Platini.

"I now count on you, football counts on you, UEFA counts on you, and the youth of today counts on you."

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of the ECA, said: "Normally with agreements there are winners and losers but this time everyone is a winner."

The ECA, as an independent autonomous body representing the European clubs, is drawn from all of UEFA's 53 member associations.

It will in principle be composed of 103 clubs, with the precise number of clubs from each member association established every two years at the end of the UEFA season on the basis of the UEFA ranking of its member associations.

UEFA added that as part of the memorandum of understanding it was agreed to distribute every four years an amount from the UEFA European Championship to national associations for them to pass on to their clubs who have contributed to the successful staging of a European Championship.

The target distribution amount for Euro 2008 is 43.5 million euros ($62.8 million), UEFA said, with the payments made on a 'per day per player' basis of approximately 4,000 euros.

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