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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Wide implications for UEFA, ECA pact

Written by on February 29, 2012 | 5 Comments »
Posted in Money Game

The announcement on Tuesday that the European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA had reached an agreement to reduce the number of international games on the calendar has implications reaching far beyond Europe.

The European clubs, under association president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, have won a key tactical battle that significantly strengthens their hand in their ongoing fight with FIFA. With the existing agreement between UEFA and ECA due to expire in two years, there was some urgency in reaching a compromise. When you consider that parts of the new agreement will now kick in this summer and run for ……..

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5 responses to “Wide implications for UEFA, ECA pact”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    Bobby thanks for the great article.
    I was shocked when I heard the news. I was even more shocked, like you mentioned, with FIFA’s reserved tone in their statement.
    First I was shocked that Platini would do anything to hamper his FIFA nomination. But looking closer this might actually help, in the sense that he’ll have ECA backing and show that he can negotiate with organizations.
    On the other hand, Int’l squads are such a huge part of some Nations that this could blow up in his face. Current FIFA members/power at be will frown at this, which could hurt him.
    Second, FIFA was so uncharacteristic in their statement that it’s puzzling. Maybe Blatter is, as you put it, a lame duck. Or I could see them review and still try to completely gut the agreement. They have never taken lightly to being circumvented.
    It’s funny, as much as fans love the CL and their clubs, I actually think that FIFA will have the fans backing if they say no to this. I’ve had plenty of batt
    Es with fans in regards too club vs national interests.

  2. John Bladen says:

    Interesting times, Bobby. As always, UEFA looks after itself and it’s own. Having said that, I’m actually with them on this one. FIFA international dates are fine, but there are too many of them on the current schedule – especially for the bigger nations. I’d like to see FIFA schedule (or approve) more matches for nations outside the top 50. Playing more is the only way they can improve and (generate funds).

    Given the landscape in football at present, I’m not so sure Platini wouldn’t prefer to remain head of the richest and most powerful confederation than take a run at the FIFA presidency.

    Many believe that UEFA is already doing a better job than FIFA at that organization’s target goals. It is almost certainly doing so with significantly less corruption than FIFA has…

  3. CH says:

    Im a fairly new soccer fan (ive only been watching since 2006) but i love international football more than anything. Can anybody tell me why the Carling cup hasnt been scrapped yet. It seems like its worth the least in the trophy pecking order and its doent seem like other nations have 2 cup competitions. I feel that if FIFA has to give up international dates the clubs should have to get ride of useless competitions too. Because this is the reason why players show up so tired to international tournaments and disappoint. Yes the national teams should probably not play theses weild placed friendlies in August & February but the clubs should be fair too, because a good world cup(or euro) is profitable for everybody.

  4. Ed Gomes says:

    CH, the Carling Cup is going to become the norm. It’s a way for the FA and teams to make more revenue due to TV. It’s really that simple. I would be shocked if Spain, Italy and Bundes don’t follow. Portugal has already added a League Cup (BWin Cup, used to be the Cralsberg Cup).

    FIFA needs to do a better job in scheduling these Int’l breaks. But having said that, there will always be conflict with some big classico in the leagues.

  5. CH – I think you just have to look at the increase in the number of international games over the last few decades to see why the clubs are pissed. Clubs will say that they reduced stage 2 of the Champions League only to have the reduction be met with FIFA adding games. Now others would then point out that stage 2 was useless and not needed anyway.

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