G14 to disband in peace deal

Image: Blatter: 'Very special'

The powerful G14 group of clubs is to disband in a peace deal brokered with football's ruling bodies

Clubs to be paid for players in deal

The powerful G14 group of European elite clubs is to disband in a peace deal which will see payments for players appearing in the World Cup or European Championships. After talks with Fifa and Uefa in Zurich, the group of 18 elite clubs - which includes Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal - will be dissolved and their court cases against Fifa withdrawn. The announcement, hailed as a 'historic day for football', now removes the threat of a European breakaway league featuring the top clubs. In a return, Fifa and Uefa have agreed in principle to make "financial contributions for players' participation in European Championships and World Cups", although precise details have yet to be worked out. A new independent European clubs' organisation will also be set up that will be recognised by football's ruling powers.

Special

Welcoming the move, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said: "Something very special has happened today. "The clubs, which are the basic cells of our game and fundamental to its thriving, are at last to become a part of the pyramidal football organisation." Uefa president Michel Platini added: "The demands of the clubs to be heard and to be associated, also financially, are well-founded. The letter of intent signed today is not a political step, but a logical one." The meeting in Zurich included the chief executives of Manchester United, Chelsea and Rangers - David Gill, Peter Kenyon and Martin Bain.
Friendship
Speaking on behalf of the clubs, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said: "Friendship and confidence is the basis for our game. I compliment the Uefa president on having implemented the change he promised when he came to office. It is a victory for all." Uefa will now propose the intention to create a new club body at the next European Club Forum meeting on 21st January. This new body will be known as the European Club Association and will be independent but recognised by Uefa. It will consist of more than 100 clubs across Europe, including representatives from each of the 53 national associations of Uefa.

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