The UEC set a milestone with the celebration of its first General Assembly

The UEC’s first General Assembly took place today with over 80 clubs represented, a year to the day since the organisation's official launch in Brussels

April 24, 2024



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The UEC’s first General Assembly took place today with over 80 clubs represented. This was a significant date for the UEC, a year to the day since their official launch in Brussels.

Alex Muzio, Chairman of Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise was elected President of the UEC by the new Executive Board composed of 16 members from 14 different National Associations.

Brussels, 24 April 2024 – One year ago, professional clubs across Europe manifested their rising interest in being represented in the decision-making processes and having their voices heard, an initiative that has reached its peak with the celebration of the first General Assembly of the Union of European Clubs (“UEC”).

The UEC’s first General Assembly, which gathered more than 80 clubs from 20 countries, allowed the members to vote in changes to the Statutes for a wider spectrum of professional clubs to join the organisation, approved the UEC’s initial strategy document and elected the first Executive Board. The clubs in attendance supported the UEC’s proposals to improve and further develop solidarity mechanisms for the benefit of the entire football pyramid.  

Alex Muzio, Chairman of Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, was elected President of the UEC, with co-founders Dennis Gudasic and Gareth Farrelly elected General Secretary and CEO respectively.

The UEC’s new Executive Board is composed of the following 16 members:

- Shamakhi FK, Azerbaijan – represented by Elchin Usub
- Royale Union Saint-Gilloise
, Belgium – represented by Alex Muzio
- NK Lokomotiva Zagreb
, Croatia – represented by Dennis Gudasic
- Burnley FC
, England – represented by Michael Smith
- Norwich City FC
, England – represented by James Bemment
- Fair Game (16 clubs)
, England – represented by Niall Couper
- Maccabi Netanya FC
, Israel – represented by Gil Lev
- FK Jenis
, Kazakhstan – represented by David Loriya
- FK Metta
, Latvia – represented by Girts Mihelsons
- Maltese Premier League clubs
, Malta – represented by Joseph Muscat
- FC Eindhoven
, Netherlands – represented by Günther Peeters
- Universitatea Craiova
, Romania – represented by Ovidiu Costeşin
- CA Osasuna
, Spain – represented by Fran Canal
- Istanbulspor
, Turkey – represented by Kayahan Turgay Biçer
- FC Kolos Kovalivka
, Ukraine – represented by Volodymyr Geninson
- Haverfordwest County AFC
, Wales – represented by Rebecca Nuttall

Following on from its launch last year, the Union of European Clubs has been building its membership, meeting with footballing stakeholders and EU institutions, and working collaboratively with those stakeholders on key issues. This year, the UEC has been actively involved in securing increased solidarity for clubs, standing together with UEFA and other stakeholders in welcoming the ECJ judgment, representing its member clubs with their challenges with the FIFA Clearing House, participating in many events across European football, visiting clubs and leagues, and promoting the organisation.

The members were provided with a summary of the UEC activities by Director of Operations, William Martucci. Those in attendance discussed and agreed on a first list of objectives and policies for the future of the game, a document the organisation aims to develop in the coming months. Three areas of focus have been identified: good governance, competitive balance, and integrity and financial sustainability.

Governance refers to the UEC’s objective to create a more democratic model for European club football, with a focus on replicating the one club/one vote principle embedded in UEFA’s statutes where each National Association has one vote in a secret ballot. The organisation aims to work closely with all stakeholders and with EU institutions in this direction.

Competitive balance within and between leagues are key topics for the UEC and its members who will look to develop specific solutions to restore the importance of sporting merit and increase mobility at all levels of the sporting hierarchy. Beyond protecting the current model from future elitist reforms, initial ideas include finding higher and new solidarity mechanisms, such as a new training compensation model based on results achieved by players in major club and national team tournaments, and improving balance in the revenue distribution of UEFA Club Competitions.

Regarding integrity and financial sustainability, the UEC is supporting UEFA’s new financial sustainability regulations and calling for an effective and fair system of sanctions and rewards. Regulation of the player agent’s market and control of harmful ownership structures were also mentioned, with ideas such as awarding training compensation based on the highest category within any multi-club ownership structure.

UEC President, Alex Muzio said: “The UEC has had an incredibly busy and rewarding 12 months growing to over 141 members. Clubs have recognised its firm commitment to true representation, its one club/one vote principle and every club having an equal voice regardless of their size. This General Assembly, growth in membership, geographical diversity of clubs represented in the Executive Board and the democratic principles give the UEC every right to be knocking on the door of UEFA for formal recognition. I am delighted to have been elected President and look forward to the journey ahead.“

Silvia Canal, from LALIGA club CA Osasuna stated: “We are delighted to have attended the UEC GA today. It is another milestone for the organisation, and testimony to its hard work and growth over the last 12 months. We are also delighted to have been elected to the Executive Board and look forward to working closely with our fellow Board members to drive forward and develop further the exciting policies agreed today.”

Mike Smith, from Burnley FC, added: “As one of the founding clubs of professional football in the world, Burnley has journeyed through the football pyramid and we have real perspective regarding the importance and implications of such a system not only in England but across Europe. We recognise the UEC’s aim as a key stakeholder of supporting UEFA, currently the sole organiser and regulator of pan-European competitions, so that all European clubs can continue to dream of a rise to compete in top UEFA competitions. Throughout our affiliation with English football we have sought to promote integrity in the game – something that the UEC supports on a pan-European level. We have also worked to promote more financially sustainable models in football – something the UEC is also driving forward, with concrete proposals to develop and come after discussions have been held with the UEC Executive Board of which we are now proud to be a part.” 

“We re-affirm the critical role the UEC has to play as a stakeholder ,the primary objective of which is to complement UEFA and the current football ecosystem, whilst giving a voice to professional clubs of all sizes. The UEC will enable this large majority of clubs to defend their interest and advocate for a regulatory environment where they can progress in both financial and sporting terms” concluded Rebecca Nutall, from Haverfordwest County AFC – Wales

The next General Assembly will take place in Brussels in October 2024 as an in-person event.

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