Arsenal have effectively rejoined the European Club Association (ECA) after trying to leave the organisation earlier this year.
The Gunners were a founding member of the ECA when it launched in 2008 but resigned membership in April when we, and 11 other clubs, attempted to launch a European Super League behind the backs of the association’s 200+ member clubs.
Arsenal CEO Vinai Venkatesham had only been elected to the ECA board six weeks prior to the breakaway announcement.
— ECA (@ECAEurope) August 16, 2021
Nine of the 12 founder members of the ESL have now signed legally binding commitments to be re-instated for the 2019-2023 cycle.
In a statement, the ECA said: “After an exhaustive process of re-engagement by the Clubs and re-assessment by ECA over recent months, the ECA Executive Board took into consideration the Clubs’ acknowledgement that the so-called European Super League project (“ESL Project”) was not in the interests of the wider football community and their publicly communicated decisions to abandon said ESL Project completely. The ECA Board also acknowledged the Clubs’ stated willingness to engage actively with ECA in its collective mission to develop European club football – in the open and transparent interests of all, not the few.
“This decision of the ECA Board marks the end of a regrettable and turbulent episode for European football and aligns with ECA’s relentless focus to strengthen unity in European football. Through this period of unprecedented challenge, ECA has firmly established itself as the only organisation through which the leading clubs in Europe can promote and protect their interests in football, whilst also developing the competition landscape and reinforcing the centrality of clubs in the governance of European football.
“ECA can now proceed with renewed unity and solidarity to continue the important work needed to stabilise and develop European club football – at a time when this is needed the most.”
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, who still believe an altered version of the Super League will become a reality, have not rejoined.