Nasser Al Khelaifi has overseen major changes in his club and is expected to spearhead the next step of UEFA expansions.
Chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-German [PSG] Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been re-elected to the UEFA Executive Committee as its European Club Association (ECA) representative until 2027, the General Assembly of the European Club Association confirmed on Thursday.
The unanimous selection comes after a meeting with almost 500 clubs in European football. The 30th General Assembly, held in Berlin, was attended by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin and virtually by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, as well as various other high-level dignitaries.
The discussions reflected on progress over the last two years, ECA’s landmark new MOU with UEFA, and plans for the ECA going forward.
Drawing on personal experience, Khelaifi said, “Our partnership with UEFA is so important. We don’t always agree – far from it. But we always discuss things constructively – with dialogue, common understanding, and searching for solutions.”
The newly signed MOU with UEFA sets the path for the organisation to be the sole representative of European clubs in Europe and worldwide until 2030.
“We have come such a long way over the past cycle,” he reflected. “There has been an enormous shift in the role clubs play in the decisions that shape European club football. Today, we are a dynamic, democratic, and inclusive institution – seeking influence and a voice for the many, not the few.”
In his speech, Khelaifi reflected on how he placed collective interests above individual ones seeing more solidarity. He also highlighted a 25 percent increase in prize money for UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League.
“By placing collective interests above individual interests, we have seen +89 per cent and +73 per cent increases in UEFA Club Competition solidarity for sub-division 3 and sub-division 4 clubs since the last cycle. There has been a +25 per cent increase in prize money for UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League,” Al Khelaifi said.
On Club Benefits Programme agreed between FIFA and ECA, Al-Khelaifi
said: “73 per cent of players at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 came from our
European clubs. Looking back to the World Cup in Germany 2006, clubs received
“Then after ECA was established, clubs received $40 million in South
Africa 2010. Following our long and tough negotiations with FIFA, our club
benefits have multiplied. Now, for each of the 2026 and 2030 World Cups, $355
million will be distributed to clubs worldwide, over 70 per cent more than the last
World Cup,” he said.
The newly rolled-out club benefits programme, which redistributes wealth and resources, has also seen 440 clubs and 837 players around the world benefit.
“We will have an expanded Board and new Executive Committee which will be more representative, empowered, and efficient than ever before,” Kheliafi promised.
“We will have a wider membership and new philosophy that will see ECA not only represent clubs who play in Europe, but clubs that are from Europe. We will be inclusive – vertically and horizontally – within professional football. We will have better resources and improved funding that will match our goals. I am often the first person to put pressure on our management team asking for more to be done for our members, more quickly,” he added.
Who is Nasser Al Khelaifi?
Nasser Al-Khelaifi is Chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain. The Qatari is also chairman of beIN Media Group, QSI and DIGITURK.
A former professional tennis player, Al-Khelaïfi is the president of the Qatar Tennis Squash and Badminton Federation. In France, Nasser sits on the board of the French Professional Football League and on a European level, is a member of UEFA’s Executive Committee and, with this appointment, continues to be the ECA Chairman.