Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) chairman and CEO Nasser al-Khelaifi has been elected chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), the body said yesterday, as reported by Reuters.
Al-Khelaifi replaces Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli who quit on Sunday.
Agnelli resigned after Juventus joined 11 other clubs from England, Spain and Italy in forming a breakaway Super League, which collapsed yesterday as eight founding members abandoned the project following massive criticism.
The ECA represents over 200 clubs from 55 UEFA member associations and was created with the purpose of helping them safeguard their interests in European club football.
Michael Gerlinger (director Legal Affairs, Human Resources and Institutional Relations at Bayern Munich) has been appointed first vice-chairman of ECA, representing Subdivision 1; alongside existing ECA vice-chairmen Edwin van der Sar (Ajax), Dariusz Mioduski (Legia Warsaw) and Aki Riihilahti (HJK Helsinki), the ECA said in a statement.
"I am honoured and humbled to have been appointed by my fellow ECA Executive Board members as chairman," al-Khelaifi said. "The leadership, integrity and togetherness of our organisation has never been more required than at this pivotal moment in European football.
"I will provide my unconditional commitment to the entire football community: that means to all ECA member clubs from every European nation, and to the fans and communities they represent.
"I, alongside all my fellow ECA board members and clubs, am looking to reinforce ECA in its role as the legitimate and singular voice of Europe's clubs. Our game, adored by generations of supporters, will only prosper under unity, and it is our duty as the custodians of football to fulfil this obligation."
Earlier this week, the 12 clubs involved in the formation of the Super League quit their positions with the ECA.
The ECA said it welcomed the decision made by the majority of the clubs in not pursuing the breakaway project. "Following the unprecedented events of recent days, which has seen attempts to undermine the entire European football community, the ECA – representing the leading football clubs of Europe – welcomes the decision from its former member clubs not to pursue their purported Super League project, following the seismic and universal condemnation of the project by the entire football community and across society as a whole," the ECA said.
"The ECA firmly believes this project could not succeed because football, at its core, is based on openness, sporting excellence and an inherent connection between everyone across the football family. Football is for everybody. Recent events have been a reminder that club owners are merely custodians of their clubs, which are historic beacons that mean so much to fans and their communities. ECA believes that it is the responsibility of every member club to ensure that we develop football and leave it in a better place for the next generation; not to dismantle it purely for financial gain," it added.