The new joint venture between UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA), the body that represents over 240 soccer teams across the continent, has resulted in an increase of almost 40% in the commercial value of club competitions for the post-2024 cycle, ECA chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has revealed.

Speaking at the latest ECA general assembly yesterday (March 28), Al-Khelaifi hailed the new collaboration with European soccer’s governing body and claims it has given increased “influence and affluence” to clubs.

He particularly outlined how the two organizations recently worked together to conclude UEFA’s commercial rights tender for the 2024-2027 period, through which contracts were awarded to agencies Team Marketing and Relevent Sports Group in February.

For the first time, the ECA was involved in the tender process and collaborated with UEFA on the awarding of the rights, which cover the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League, Super Cup, and Youth League for the next cycle, all from the start of the 2024-25 campaign.

Representatives from Europe’s top-tier clubs – through the ECA – were present at UEFA meetings during a two-day, three-round selection process.

Al-Khelaifi claims the alliance between UEFA and ECA on the process had led to an increase in projected value for the tournaments.

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At its last general assembly in September, the ECA made the strengthening of a more transparent and collaborative relationship with UEFA a priority.

Addressing the general assembly, he said: “For the first time ever, UEFA and ECA have worked jointly to conduct an open and competitive tender to manage the sales process for men’s European club competitions.

“This process was much more than a tender – it represented a tectonic shift in the role that clubs now play in the decisions that shape European football, and a new progressive governance model for European football with the clubs determining their destiny in partnership with UEFA.

“It also showcased what can happen when we work together – and the results are so much better. We have seen an amazing 39% increase in the forecasted commercial value of the men’s UEFA club competitions for the post-2024 cycle, and while we still need to explore additional untapped revenue streams together, this is a historic increase in revenue.”

The new agreement with Team and Relevent is expected to be worth $5.5 billion in the new cycle, significantly up from $3.6 billion in the previous three-year deal solely with Team.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the president of French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, claims the new commercial agreements have proven to be more lucrative than the proposed breakaway European Super League would have been.

He added: “This deal also proves that the doubters of the European football model were wrong.

“More influence and more affluence for clubs, more progressive governance and more European togetherness – I remember some people trying to tear down the system for a fraction of these things last year.”

Spanish heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid and Italy’s Juventus are still pursuing the European Super League but the nine other clubs which originally formed the breakaway competitions – AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur – were all welcomed back as members of the ECA board last August for the 2019-23 ECA membership cycle.

The two-day ECA general assembly will continue today (March 29) with several other issues to be discussed, including a new financial fair play (FFP) model.

It was recently reported by the New York Times that UEFA is set to scrap its FFP rules and replace them with strict new spending regulations for clubs.

Under new cost control measures, clubs’ soccer-related spending – including transfer fees and salaries – will not be able to surpass 70% of their income, but a previously mooted salary cap will not be introduced.

Al-Khelaifi revealed that the ECA has been working with UEFA to create new “financial sustainability rules” for clubs moving forward.

He said: “These new rules are designed to ensure costs are better controlled, while still encouraging investment that will secure our game’s long-term sustainable future.

“UEFA has incorporated many of ECA’s comments – made on behalf of over 240 clubs – including how the new rules need to be simple, fair, transparent, and enforceable; and we look forward to the new system being implemented shortly.

“These new rules have been worked on for over 18 months, and have been the result of the incredibly hard work of many people.”