(WFI) After Jerome Valcke snubbed Europe’s leading clubs’ demands for compensation over moving the Qatar World Cup, FIFA is bowing to pressure to negotiate a deal.
The FIFA No.2 angered clubs and leagues with his comments soon after the Qatar 2022 task force last week made the recommendation – to no-one’s surprise – to shunt the tournament to November/December. “There will be no compensation,” Valcke told reporters, refusing to apologise. “There are seven years to reorganise.”
But the picture appears less bleak after a meeting of the European Club Association’s executive board in Nyon on Tuesday.
The 214-member ECA is attempting to renew a 2008 agreement with FIFA that saw world football’s governing body pay clubs globally $70 million from Brazil 2014 World Cup revenues in recognition of their participation in the competition. Of the 396 clubs affiliated to 57 different national FAs benefiting from such payments, 240 clubs are registered with a European federation.
“The board expressed its willingness to take up discussions with FIFA to find a serious and fair solution,” an ECA spokesman told INSIDER
He indicated that negotiations would take place with FIFA in the coming weeks, although a final deal may be some way off.
In comments to the Associated Press on Tuesday, ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that he had held “positive” discussions with FIFA president Sepp Blatter in recent days about compensation for clubs following the controversial decision to move the Qatar World Cup, which will severely disrupt European domestic leagues and clubs.
Last week, Rummenigge’s message to FIFA was that European clubs and leagues “cannot be expected to bear the costs for such rescheduling”.
FIFA may be prepared to pay more than $150 million in its new agreement with the ECA, according to a Sky News report.
From the previous $70 million deal, Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich received the biggest payment, about $1.7 million. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City each received more than $1m each. Payments were linked to the number of players from a club selected for their national team for the Brazil World Cup and the number of days each player was at the tournament.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER