Champions Hamrun Spartans were invited for the launch of the Union of European Clubs which was held on Monday in Brussels, Belgium.
The UEC was launched at a hybrid event with the physical and online presence of 103 of professional clubs of all sizes from around the continent. Also present were officials from EU institutions, various football stakeholders, and media.
Representing Hamrun was Victor Cassar, Head International Relations. Cassar had also the opportunity to pay a visit to Brussels-based Royale Union Saint-Gilloise FC – the club for whom Malta international midfielder Teddy Teuma plays – who hosted the first UEC gathering with clubs prior to the formal meeting.
This new European body aims to provide a voice to “at least 92% of” professional football clubs who today go unheard. Europe has more than 1,500 professional football clubs and the vast majority have no international platform nor any representation with key institutions such as UEFA or the European Union.
UEC Founder Dennis Gudasic, who also serves as Executive Director of Zagreb’s Lokomotiva FC, said “The Union of European Clubs fills a massive void and will champion the interests of the clubs that form the foundation of European football. It is crucial that small and medium sized clubs gain a voice. Over the past decades football has become increasingly a game of the elite, this trend needs to be reversed or the beautiful game will suffer irreparable harm.”
By giving a voice to the true heart of European football the UEC aims to create a fairer and more sustainable football ecosystem. The UEC has many common objectives with UEFA as the central governing body, but also with other stakeholders, such as the European Leagues, which gathers 40 professional football leagues and represents more than 1,000 clubs in 34 countries across Europe.
Meanwhile following the set-up of the International Relations Unit within its organisational structure, Hamrun had earlier this year been accepted to form part of the European Club Association (ECA). This is the first step towards full membership within the ECA. The Spartans are expected to announce shortly collaboration agreements with a major club in Europe and other international football entities