KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has returned to the leadership of the European Club Association to try to save the betrayed body from self-destruction.
Rummenigge, the former Germany captain who chaired ECA for almost a decade, has filled the void left by the resignation of Andrea Agnelli after the latter’s betrayal of the vast majority of its 246 members.
Agnelli, also the president of Juventus, took his club out of the ECA along with the other 11 outfits which have signed up for the midweek breakaway Super League.
Until the weekend senior officials of European federation UEFA, including its own president Aleksander Ceferin, has believed that Agnelli & Co were on their side in planning a Champions League form.
On Sunday night Ceferin found he had been deceived by men he described variously as “greedy . . . self-serving . . . liars . . . and narcissists.”
The ECA executive board met in emergency session to ponder its own future, never mind that of European club competitions.
A statement said: “The board was unanimous in its condemnation of the actions of the departing members, which it holds to be self-serving and to the detriment of the game’s well-being and in clear opposition to ECA’s values.”
Rummenigge, who had been honorary president, will return as chairman to replace departed Agnelli as one of two ECA representatives on the UEFA executive committee.
Bayern and fellow Bundesliga powerhouse Borussia Dortmund have stood aloof from the Super League project.
An interim executive committee will be made up of Nasser Al-Khelaifi (Paris Saint-Germain), Michael Gerlinger (Bayern ), Edwin van der Sar (Ajax), Dariusz Mioduski (Legia Warsaw), Aki Riihilahti (HJK Helsinki) and Michele Centenaro (ECA’s independent board member).
The new board approved the Champions League reforms being introduced by UEFA in 2024.