Lancaster House, in London, 6 June 2005. First row ( from left to right) : Tommy Theorin, Maurice Watkins, Jean-Marie Philips, Richard Caborn, Geoff Thomson, Wilfried Strub, Georg Pangl, David Richards and Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros; Second row (same order): Roz Donnely, Marco Brunelli, Philippe Diallo, Carlos del Campo, Mark Boetekees, Theodore Giannikos, Alexander Lykourezos, José Luis Astiazaran, Jan Valden, Alex Phillips; In the back row you can see , among others, Mike Lee, Richard Scudamore, Giovanni Pifarotti, Matthew Bennet, Werner Hackmann, Lex Gold, Mike Foster and Theo van Seggelen
The EPFL completed the 7th Anniversary of the EPFL Constitution. It was exactly on the 6th of June 2005 that the fourteen founding European Leagues gathered in London to formalise the constitution of the EPFL Association and thus herald a new era in the governance of the game.
Through these seven years, the EPFL has grown significantly. Not only in terms of members and associate members, but also in its legitimacy, influence and relations with all relevant sports bodies and public institutions.
During this period, the EPFL has ensured the aimed recognition of the leagues’ vital role and successfully met the mounting challenges of the ever changing sporting, economic and political landscape in Professional Football.
Over the last year, further achievements have been accomplished by the European leagues’ Association. In a framework of mutual respect and recognition, the EPFL has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with UEFA, which provides the stable foundations of a new and positive cycle of cooperation in many critical areas. At the same time, the EPFL’s role and relevant contribution to the development of football in Europe, and beyond, was formally recognised and praised by FIFA, and, for the first time ever, several EPFL representatives were appointed to FIFA’s most influential committees.
At the same time, the EPFL’s role and relevant contribution to the development of football in Europe had an important milestone a few weeks ago with the signing of the Autonomous Agreement regarding the Minimum Requirements for Standard Player Contracts in the Professional Football Sector, under the auspices of the European Commission. The agreement, signed by the European professional football social partners (EPFL, ECA and FIFPro, alongside with UEFA), paves the way for a greater respect of contracts and a better recognition of the basic rights and obligations of European clubs and players when it comes to employment relationships. In addition, the EPFL relationship and cooperation was also strengthened with Leagues from other continents, thus sparking the long awaited formation process of World League Association.
Furthermore, great progress was also made with the EU institutions, who, sensitive to the EPFL’s proposals, placed high at the top of their agenda vital reforms related to sports betting regulation, protection of the leagues’ intellectual property rights, good governance in sport and other areas where public policy is needed.
Last but not least, the EPFL has undertaken its share of responsibility by showing that social causes are and will always be right at the heart of the EPFL activities. A result of that the is worldwide known Professional Football Against Hunger Campaign which has been successfully developed in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nation (FAO) and, more recently, with the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO).
None of these achievements would have been possible without the outstanding support of our Member Leagues and Associate Members, who we want to thank publicly on this occasion.