Arsenal have left the European Clubs Association after confirming that they will take part in a brand new European Super League.
The move has seen Gunners chief executive Vinai Venkatesham step down from his position on ECA’s board with immediate effect.
The organisation replaced the G14 and European Club Forum in 2008 and represents Europe’s 214 clubs, aiming to become the voice of its respective members.
Venkatesham himself was only appointed to the ECA’s board in March after taking over the responsibility of representing Arsenal within the organisation that had previously been held by the club’s former head of football Raul Sanllehi.
The Gunners greeted that news positively at the time and said in a statement they were happy it had taken place.
“We’re delighted that Vinai has been appointed to the European Clubs’ association board,” said an Arsenal spokesperson in a statement to football.london just last month.
“The ECA represents clubs across Europe and is central to helping shape the future of the game with UEFA and FIFA.”
The ECA is an organisation that according to its website “exists to protect and promote European club football. Its aim is to create a new, more democratic governance model that truly reflects the key role of the clubs.”
In a statement on Sunday they condemned all attempts to move towards a Super League and reaffirmed their desire to stick with UEFA’s proposed changes to the Champions League and Europa League Models that were due to be passed through on Monday.
“In light of today’s reports on the subject of a so-called breakaway league, ECA as the body representing 246 leading clubs across Europe reiterates its stated commitment to working on developing the UEFA Club Competitions (UCCs) model with UEFA for the cycle beginning 2024 and that a ‘closed super league mode’ to which articles refer would be strongly opposed by the ECA,” the statement read.
The proposed European Super League would effectively replace the Champions League and Europa League in its current format by creating a new midweek tournament that will involve the 20 teams.
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15 of those sides would be permanent members who cannot be relegated from that league with the opportunity being created for five alternate teams to enter the competition every season.
Arsenal – along with fellow ‘big six’ Premier League sides Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham and several other European heavyweights- would be among the Super League’s permanent members.