Arsenal will take part in the European Club Association (ECA) again after resigning from the organisation earlier this year to join the 24-hour European Super League.

Vinai Venkatesham
Vinai Venkatesham

Vinai Venkatesham had only been appointed to the ECA board a month before Arsenal left the group, off on their 24-hour whirlwind that annoyed everybody.

Now, they’ve gone crawling back, begging to be let back in again.

 

The situation is a bit of a shambles, like everything connected to the European Super League. The ECA represents Europe’s clubs as a voice for its members, but with Arsenal then trying to take part in the European Super League, they obviously couldn’t continue.

Venkatesham only joined the ECA board in March and this all took place in April. Arsenal said at the time they were “delighted” with the appointment to help “shape the future of the game with UEFA and FIFA”.

A statement on the ECA website, read, “Following the receipt by ECA of specific requests asking the ECA Board to consider the withdrawal of their previous resignation requests of April 2021, the ECA Executive Board has agreed that the following clubs will retain their ECA ordinary membership for the current 2019-23 ECA membership cycle: AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Club Atlético de Madrid, FC Internazionale Milano, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC (“Clubs”).

“In its decision, and after an exhaustive process of re-engagement by the Clubs and re-assessment by ECA over recent months, the ECA Executive Board took into consideration the Clubs’ acknowledgement that the so-called European Super League project (“ESL Project”) was not in the interests of the wider football community and their publicly communicated decisions to abandon said ESL Project completely. The ECA Board also acknowledged the Clubs’ stated willingness to engage actively with ECA in its collective mission to develop European club football – in the open and transparent interests of all, not the few.

“This decision of the ECA Board marks the end of a regrettable and turbulent episode for European football and aligns with ECA’s relentless focus to strengthen unity in European football. Through this period of unprecedented challenge, ECA has firmly established itself as the only organisation through which the leading clubs in Europe can promote and protect their interests in football, whilst also developing the competition landscape and reinforcing the centrality of clubs in the governance of European football.

“ECA can now proceed with renewed unity and solidarity to continue the important work needed to stabilise and develop European club football – at a time when this is needed the most.”