The president of Serie A club Juventus has been elected as the new head of the European Club Association. Andrea Agnelli replaces the organization's only previous chairman, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
The general assembly of the European Club Association (ECA) voted during a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday to appoint Juventus President Andrea Agnelli (pictured above, right) as its new chairman for a two-year term. The ECA, which represents 220 European professional football clubs, made the announcement via its Twitter account.
The ECA also announced that it had appointed the 41-year-old Agnelli and Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis as its representatives on the executive committee of European football's governing body UEFA.
Agnelli replaces Bayern Munich CEO and former West Germany star Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (above, left) who had been the ECA's chairman since its inception in 2008. Rummenigge - who was named an honorary chairman during Tuesday's meeting - had announced his intention to step down last month.
ECA achieved 'more than we dared to hope'
In his parting speech, the 61-year-old Rummenigge expressed pride in what the organization had achieved over the past nine years.
"ECA has become a strong and fair partner for UEFA and FIFA. When we first started, we had visions. Today, we can proudly say that within a decade, ECA has achieved more than we dared to hope," he said.
The ECA has been a key partner with UEFA in negotiating changes to the entry rules and prize money distribution of the Champions League and Europa League. Most recently, it supported changes to the Champions League, which made fewer places available in the lucrative group stage for clubs from smaller European leagues.
However, in his speech, Rummenigge defended the controversial changes.
"Everyone will benefit from increased revenue, and we have increased solidarity payments by more than 40 percent from 199 million to 284 million euros. I am proud of that," he said.