Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: BRUNO FAHY / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP 18:55 p.m., April 24, 2023

The Union of European Clubs (UEC), a new organisation akin to a trade union, was created in European football. It wants to represent "small and medium" professional formations to exist against the big clubs, which concentrate money and trophies.

A new organization, the Union of European Clubs (UEC), invited itself Monday in the landscape of European football to represent "small and medium" professional formations and weigh against the big clubs, which concentrate money and trophies. Launched in Brussels where it will have its headquarters, the UEC intends to "give a voice" to the approximately 1,400 clubs that are not represented in the current governance of continental football, failing to play in one of the three European competitions, explained one of its representatives, sports marketer William Martucci.

This new structure with vague contours, which still has no management team or statutes, claims the registration of about forty clubs from 25 countries at the time of its presentation, including the bosses of Crystal Palace (Premier League), Royal Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgian first division) and Lokomotiva Zagreb (Croatian first division).

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"Social partner"

The UEC, far from launching a sling comparable to the abortive Super League attempt by twelve elite clubs in spring 2021, presents itself as a "social partner" of players' and supporters' organisations and as a "complement" to the powerful European Club Association (ECA), UEFA's only official interlocutor so far. It is "not a question of replacing the ECA, but of providing a counterweight to the influence that the big clubs have, through the ECA", on the management and finances of European football, assured sports law specialist Katarina Pijetlovic in presenting the structure.

Neither UEFA nor the ECA wished to comment on the arrival of this new player in football, while the two structures co-manage the lucrative European club competitions. The ECA, which was born in 2008 and now has more than 300 member teams, also has an agreement with Fifa, covering both the international calendar and compensation to clubs that release their internationals.