A new football body, the Union of European Clubs (UEC), launched on Monday saying its aim was to represent “small and medium-sized” football clubs in a landscape dominated by bigger clubs.
The UEC which was launched in Brussels, where it will be based, says it intendeds “to give a voice” to around 1,400 professional clubs in Europe who, without being involved in any of UEFA’s three club competitions, do not have any proper representation among the sport’s governance.
At its unveiling, the new organisation says 40 clubs from 25 countries have already joined up, with Premier League side Crystal Palace, Belgian league side, Union Saint-Gilloise, and Lokomotiva Zagreb of Croatia all at the launch.
It says it intends to function in addition to the European Club Association (ECA) which, founded in 2008 and with more than 300 members, is the only existing body of the continent’s clubs that is represented on UEFA’s executive committee.
Neither UEFA nor the ECA, which together run Europe’s most lucrative club competitions including the Champions League, were willing to comment on the new organisation.
UEFA and the ECA also have an agreement with world football’s governing body FIFA over the international match calendar and compensation payments to clubs for the release of players to international duty.