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Jan 23, 2008

UEFA on 21st January 2008 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 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.

What is the sole aim of creating the European Club Association - Increase the buying power of Clubs when dealing with FIFA. And in the initial rounds the dominating clubs have won the round against FIFA. UEFA looks like very cleverly sided with ECA to isolate FIFA in the whole process. ECA has made some agreements with FIFA and UEFA about international matches. The first is the agreement with UEFA which involves the distribution of an amount from UEFA European Championship to these clubs. The amount will be approximately 4000 euros per day per player basis. Actually there was a big fight between clubs and FIFA in dealing with players getting injured in international duties earlier. Now this clause resolves that, as the clubs will be compensated for that through this method. This makes sure that the big clubs make huge amount of money whereas the smaller clubs make nothing. The irony will be that this clause will negate the effect of the smaller clubs in the development of these stars. For example, lets take the case of Wayne Rooney - he spent his youth years at Everton, indeed Everton invested on him when he was nothing. Now he may be a property of Manchester United, but nobody can deny Everton's share in creating such a player. From a National Association point of view it is these comparatively smaller clubs which unearths talents for the big guns to exploit. So from a National Association point of view it is these clubs that needed to be rewarded more than the greedy bigger ones.

The second agreement is the most disturbing - National teams will be allowed to call up each player for no more than one friendly outside Europe. Here I believe that UEFA sided with ECA to isolate the other continent's National association. Obviously most of the friendlies involving UEFA countries will be in Europe and therefore they will not be least bothered. Nic from FCBNews.com says : this will benefit players like Ronaldinho and Messi who are sometimes made to travel across the Atlantic or further to play in meaningless friendly games. First of all these friendlies are not some meaningless games. These are the best way the coach can find the best starting eleven who gels well. If Thierry Henry can take this much time to settle in Barcelona line up, think about the hardships of National team coaches who has to find the ideal line up through this so called meaning less friendlies. Now you are taking those friendlies away from them, What they are now supposed to do? I see this as the clubs attempt to kill the big events of national importance like the World Cups and Euros. A team which cannot gel well will not play good football, and incidentally more viewers will prefer to watch club football than National teams’ performance.

The third decision is to change the days in which International matches are played, I have no objection to it. But the fourth is reducing the size of qualifying groups for European championship. This will limit the chances for the smaller national association to match with the big guns. Everybody is complaining that there is too much International football - but the fact is that there is too much club football.

I would love to see national associations taking some bold steps. If a player is reluctant to represent National side, let him go. Hundreds have come before him and hundreds will come after him. For instance, Argentinean football has survived long before Messi came and will survive after him. It should be who decides whether he wants to be a part of it.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

ECA will never kill national football, in the worst case scenario, national squads will only be allowed to use players from their domestic leagues, and trust me, being able to see new faces in national teams like in my case Mexico, it will be a good idea, years go by and you see the same players over and over, this of course is caused by the players sport agents that some times have more power than the team coaches....elpanterita@yahoo.com

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