The European Club Association (ECA) condemned the Premier League proposal while announcing a new executive committee that includes representatives from Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
A group of 12 teams, including some of the biggest names in European football, have confirmed their plans to contest a breakaway competition on Sunday, with founding members guaranteed participation every year regardless of their domestic performance.
The competition received widespread criticism from governing bodies, former players and fan groups alike.
UEFA President Alexander Ceferin described the Europa League as a “self-serving shameful proposition” fueled by greed, in addition to his emphasis on preventing players from participating clubs from playing international football.
After its board meeting on Monday, the Economic Commission for Africa made it clear that it remains the “legitimate and fully recognized voice” of the European leading teams.
“The board of directors unanimously condemned the actions of the departing members, which it believes serve their interests, harm the welfare of the game, and clearly contradict the values of the Egyptian Chefs Association,” a statement read.
“We believe that European football can be reformed from within the system to achieve the collective interests of all stakeholders in the game.
“The Board of Directors has reiterated ECA’s clear position as the only fully recognized legitimate voice of the leading clubs in Europe and, as such, it has taken a number of decisions to ensure it is able to continue to perform its role efficiently and effectively.”
– ECA (ECAEurope) April 19, 2021
The Egyptian Chefs Union also announced that Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi will participate in an executive committee with a new appearance, in addition to Bayern Munich representative Michael Gerlinger. Neither club has participated in the European Premier League.
They will be joined by Edwin van der Sar (Ajax), Darius Miodowski (Legia Warszawa), Aki Reihelahti (Helsinki Helsinki) and Michael Centenaro (board member of the Independent Egyptian Chefs Association).
Meanwhile, UEFA announced plans to expand the UEFA Champions League on Monday, and the tournament is set to see an increase to 36 teams from the 2024-25 season onwards.
“We are pleased that the reform of European club competitions has reached this important milestone,” the Egyptian Chefs Association said of the tournament’s structural changes.
“Agreeing on new competition formulas will create more high-quality, relevant and exciting European matches for fans and increase the participation of clubs at all levels – principles and goals established by the European Club Association in Spring 2019 when we embarked on this journey of reform.
“Going forward, the focus of the ECE Executive Board will be entirely on pursuing efforts to make arrangements with UEFA on its renewed relationship after 2024 as we look to shaping European football for the coming years.”
Karl Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern CEO and honorary president of the European Chefs Association, who will replace Andrea Agnelli as one of two representatives on UEFA’s executive committee, explained that the Bundesliga club supports the revamped UEFA Champions League structure.
Bayern did not participate in plans to create the Premier League. “We are convinced that the current structure in football guarantees a reliable foundation,” Rummenigge said.
“Bayern welcomes the Champions League reforms because we believe it is the right step to take to develop European football. The revised group stage will add to the excitement and emotional experience of the competition.”
“I don’t think the Premier League will solve the financial problems of European clubs that have arisen as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, all clubs in Europe should act in concert to ensure that the cost structure, especially player salaries and agent fees, is in line with revenues, to make the whole of European football more rational.