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Premiership has influence at new European Club Association

More than 100 clubs, including at least one from all 53 UEFA member nations, will convene at UEFA headquarters in Nyon to formulate a strategy for tackling the game's most pressing issues.

Key to the two-day meeting of the ECA, which has replaced the disbanded G14 cartel, will be the appointment of a 15-man board that is expected to include representatives of two English clubs, almost certainly Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon and Liverpool counterpart Rick Parry.

Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle are the other three English members.

Former German striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of Bayern Munich, is standing unopposed for the chairmanship of the influential new body, founded six months ago in order to give smaller clubs more of a voice in the running of the game.

Although all legal cases previously supported by G14 have now been dropped in exchange for compensation payments to clubs whose players are called up for international duty, Rummenigge recently identified vital areas of concern, including the possibility of rescheduling the African Nations Cup and ensuring quotas for foreign players are not imposed by FIFA.

Although not on the agenda, a flurry of private bilateral discussions are expected with the cream of European clubs under one roof, not least Cristiano Ronaldo's future and whether the Manchester United star will or will not be moving to Real Madrid.

The appearance of both clubs at the same meeting threatens to overshadow a significant date in the calendar that formally ends years of club-versus-country squabbling and unrest.

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Tribal Football Staff

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