Category Archives: EHF

Date: 2017.10.19 | Category: EHF, Forum Club Handball | Response: 0

Cooperation agreement between EHF and European top clubs confirmed through to 2030

The EHF and Forum Club Handball have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a meeting of the Forum Club Handball (FCH) board in Mallorca, Spain on Monday 16 October 2017.

The signing of the agreement follows formal approval of the terms of the MoU by the FCH Board. An according mandate was given during the FCH General Assemblies during the VELUX Final4 in Cologne in 2016 and confirmed in 2017.

The EHF and Forum Club Handball signed the first MoU in 2010 and subsequently renewed the agreement in 2014. The current agreement expires in June 2018.

Following intensive negotiations, the two bodies have decided to further extend their cooperation through to 2030.

Commenting on the agreement, EHF President, Michael Wiederer, said: “The EHF has a long tradition of dialogue with top clubs and we share the common goal of strengthening top-class handball. We see it as the responsibility of the EHF to bring together both club and national team interests on one platform, and the signing of this new agreement will provide us with a solid basis in order to take the whole of the sport to an even higher level.”

The President of Forum Club Handball, Xavier O’Callaghan, said: “The new MoU is a milestone in the history of the relationship between clubs and federations. We will now become real partners, with each contributing with their own assets. This is what we have been looking for from the very beginning. Now we hope to build a common future and continue to improve handball at a club level.”

Long-term agreement

The signing of the MoU through to 2030 further supports the EHF in its ongoing tender process for the audio-visual and marketing rights for its top club and national team competitions.

The tender, which launched on 18 September, has generated strong interest and qualified companies have until 15 November 2017 to submit their proposals.

Audio-visual and marketing rights are available on a modular basis for club competitions including the EHF Champions League, EHF Cup and Challenge Cup as well as national team competitions.

Terms of MoU

The new MoU covers structural issues, including representation within the Professional Handball Board and EHF Executive Committee, as well as developments on a technical level.

The two bodies have also agreed the terms for the release of players for national team weeks and European Championships. This includes compensation for the release of players and insurance for players injured during these periods.

Further changes will see a repositioning of the marketing strategy for top club competitions with EHF and club rights to be bundled within EHF Marketing GmbH.

A joint company is to be created with equal number of board representatives from the EHF and FCH. This company will run the Men’s CL business. The interests of clubs in the marketing process will be further represented by the appointment of a second managing director for EHF Marketing GmbH. All FCH member clubs will receive detailed information and a copy of the MoU on 19.10.2017. GB

Date: 2017.10.02 | Category: EHF, Forum Club Handball | Response: 0

 

During a meeting in mid-September between the Leadership of EHF and FCH, the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two bodies were agreed. The EHF Executive Committee approved the document formally during its Executive Committee meeting in Lisbon last weekend.

The EHF and Forum Club Handball signed the first MoU in 2010 and subsequently renewed the agreement in 2014.

The current agreement expires in June 2018.

The signing of the MoU ist scheduled to take place after approval of the FCH Board on 16 October 2017 on the fringes of the annual FCH Board Meeting in Mallorca, Spain. Details will be announced jointly following the signing of the new agreement.

Date: 2017.07.03 | Category: EHF, Forum Club Handball | Response: 0

A number of leading European Clubs, including Barcelona, Kiel, Kielce and Veszprem, pooled their TV and Marketing Rights for international Club Handball as of season 18/19 on occasion of the VELUX EHF CHAMPIONSLEAGUE draw. Related documents were signed in Ljubljana last Friday.

The European Top Clubs expressed the wish of a cooperation between clubs, EHF and International Management Group (IMG) in the future.

Earlier this year EHF announced on the fringes of the VELUX CL Final4 that it is intended to launch a call for a tender for the Champions League rights as of 2020. At the same time the clubs regard themselves to be the owner of their TV and Marketing Rights, once the current MoU expires on 30th June 2018.

In order to prepare European Club Handball for the future, FCH and EHF will shortly start negotiations on a new ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) for the next term, commencing on 1st July 2018.

 

Date: 2017.06.07 | Category: EHF, Forum Club Handball | Response: 0

The 17th General Assembly of Forum Club Handball took place on the fringes of the EHF VELUX FINAL4 in Cologne on 4th June. For the first time ever IHF-President Hassan Moustafa attended the club meeting.

He and EHF-President Michael Wiederer took the chance to inform on the latest developments in IHF and EHF.

Moustafa thanked for the invitation and declared that he is always ready to listen to the clubs as the main actors in handball. He made the proposal to add the clubs as stakeholders to the IHF statutes. The proposal was very much appreciated by the participants. According steps will be taken.

Wiederer used the chance to report on the contractual situation in EHF and EHFM. All important contracts expire in 2020. EHF/M is in the process of preparing a tender for the rights (EHF EUROs and Champions League) for the period 2020 onwards. The CL rights shall be sold for a 10-year-period 2020 until 2030. Prior to that decision the MoU between FCH and EHF/M must be negotiated/prolonged accordingly.

The FCH representatives in the various EHF/M bodies reported on their activities in detail.

A group 10 European Top Clubs (Barcelona, Celje, Flensburg, Kiel, Kielce, Kolding-Copenhagen, Montpellier, Schaffhausen, Vardar, Veszprem) presented a concept for a new Champions League system as of season 18/19. Therefore these clubs intend to set up Joint-Venture with International Management Group (IMG). The concept which has been presented to EHF/M in various meetings, foresees that EHF will be the regulatory body, being in charge of refereeing and other important parts. It is the target to establish a real European League with 12 or 14 or 16 teams and a Round-Robin system, followed by Quarterfinals and Final4. Further details and financials were explained to the participants. According to the concept IMG will provide financial guarantees for the next 10 years. The vision is to have a premium product to be presented to the handball fans throughout the whole year.

The assembly discussed the proposal.

The following decisions were taken unanimously:

  1. The MoU between EHF/M and FCH expires in June 2018. The President and the Managing Director of FCH received the mandate to sign a new ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) with EHF, if the FCH Board takes the according decision.
  2. The participants decided to pool the TV, Media- and Marketing rights of all clubs, willing to participatein the top European Handball competitions (currently VELUX Champions League, EHF Cup, Challenge Cup) as of season 18/19 in FCH, in order to transfer these pooled rights jointly to the company/companies in charge of selling TV, Media and Marketing rights (currently EHFM) as of season 18/19.
  3. The President and the Managing Director of FCH received the mandate to sign an agreement with IHF, if the FCH Board takes the according decision.
  4. FCH Honorary member Joan Marin was elected as FCH representative for the ‘Working Group Seeding 17/18’.
  5. FCH will move its office to Luxembourg. Therefore the board of FCH is instructed and authorized to set up a new FCH in Luxembourg as soon as possible in order to guarantee a smooth transition.

The next ordinary General Assembly will take place in Zagreb on 26th/27th January 2018.                                               GB

Date: 2016.11.11 | Category: EHF, Forum Club Handball, GCH, IHF | Response: 0

10th anniversary of Forum Club Handball

The 10th anniversary of FCH was celebrated on the fringes of the ordinary board meetings of the Men’s and the Women’s Forum Club Handball in Spain on 6th November 2016.

FCH President Xavier O’Callaghan welcomed the guests, among them from the International Handball Federation President Dr. Hassan Moustafa, from the European Handball Federation President Jean Brihault and Secretary General Michael Wiederer, from the European Professional Handball Leagues Association President Frank Bohmann, from Euroleague Basketball Elisendra Salrach, from Women’s FCH President Zsolt Akos Jeney and the former FCH Presidents Tomaz Jersic and Joan Marin.

During a reception the guests were interviewed and described their relation to Forum Club Handball. In the following dinner Xavier O’Callaghan highlighted the situation in 2006 which lead to the foundation of the FCH predecessor Group Club Handball. Jean Brihault emphasized the unity of the handball family: There is no ‘you’ and ‘we’, there is only an ‘us’. Hassan Moustafa stressed in his speech the importance of the clubs for the handball system and showed his willingness to communicate with the clubs on a regular basis.  

Date: 2016.02.16 | Category: EHF, European Handball Manager | Response: 0

Without a coaching licence one cannot coach a team. Without the proper qualification one cannot become a referee – but what about handball club managers?

The European Handball Federation together with the German Sports University Cologne decided to focus on the adequate education, matching the demands of national and international handball, for the people responsible for the clubs’ and federations’ business side of things.

Europe’s first professional qualification in handball management launched in July 2015 in German. The second edition will begin in September 2016 and this time will be offered in English.

Sharing of best practice examples

Each course will consist of a maximum of 20 participants, the deadline for the 2016 registration is 30 April. The enrolment fee is 5,000 euro.

Participants will have to be present at the Sports University for 16 days. The course ends with and oral and a written exam.

The course consists of five modules: Basics in economics and law, handball management, marketing and sponsoring, finances and licensing as well as media and communications.

The relevance of the further education programme is underlined by the inclusion of Michael Wiederer, EHF Secretary General, as a speaker.

“It is the right way to contribute to this study by investing into the successful future of handball and its management. Our trailblazers as European Handball Managers are a great group. Already the first presence phase showed the different perspectives, on which we can build on in the future,” Wiederer says.

Besides the education aspect, the organisers stress that the participants share best practice examples from their daily business.

Further experienced course lecturers including Sylvia Schenk (Head of the Working Group on Sport at Transparency Deutschland) and Prof. Dr. Martin Gutzeit (Professor of Civil Rights, Employment and Social Law at the Justus Liebig University Giessen) guarantee a high-quality programme with practical relevance.

Legal adviser and former national team goalkeeper, Andreas Thiel, will also be offering his expertise combining legal matters with aspects from professional handball.

The course targets former professional players and coaches and also managers, who have been working in professional handball for at least two years. University graduates with an expressed interest in the course are also eligible to apply.

For more information on admission, exams, attendance phases and for a registration form visit the course’s website and see the Flyer.

http://www.dshs-koeln.de/en/department-of-further-education/master-certificate-programmes/certificate-programmes/european-handball-manager/

http://cms.eurohandball.com/PortalData/1/Resources/4_activities/3_pdf_act/Flyer_Eng_mit_Praesenzzeiten.pdf

Date: 2016.01.20 | Category: EHF, EU Commission, Euroleague Handball | Response: 0

Wir bereits Anfang der Woche vermeldet, hat das deutsche HANDELSBLATT  in einem Artikel von Erik Eggers über die Pläne der ‘Premier Handball League’ berichtet. Wegen der Bedeutung des Artikels für den Handballsport zitieren wir den Artikel im folgenden in voller Länge (und bedanken uns gleichzeitig für die Genehmigung des Autors):

HANDELSBLATT, 18.1.16: Handball Weltliga wird konkreter

‘Der ganz große Wurf’ von Erik Eggers

Die Idee von einer Superliga im Handball, an der nur europäische Topteams teilnehmen, soll bis 2019 Wirklichkeit werden. Die Ambitionen sind groß, sogar den US-Markt will die „Premier Handball League“ erobern.

Düsseldorf. Die Aktiengesellschaft, die am 25. November 2015 unter der Handelsregister-Nummer CH-020 .3402.676-5 in Zürich eingetragen worden ist, ist bislang nur wenigen Insidern bekannt. Doch die neue Firma namens „Premier Handball League AG“ (PHL) könnte die Gewichte im Handballsport verschieben. Im Kern dreht es sich bei dem Projekt um den Aufau einer privat organisierten internationalen Profiliga, bei der die PHL den Spielbetrieb organisiert und die Rechteverwertung für die Klubs übernimmt.

Präsident des Verwaltungsrates ist Wolfgang Gütschow. Der 53-jährige ist seit Jahrzehnten im Handballbusiness unterwegs, zunächst seit 1993 als Manager der russischen Nationalmannschaft, danach als Spielermanager. Zu seinen Klienten gehören Bundestrainer Dagur Sigurdsson und Torhüter Carsten Lichtlein die beide derzeit mit der deutschen Nationalmannschaft die Europameisterschaft in Polen bestreiten.

Seit einem Jahr arbeitet Gütschow, einer der führenden Köpfe der Szene, hinter den Kulissen an der Idee einer neuen Liga nach dem Muster der nordamerikanischen Profi-Basketballliga NBA. Die PHL soll ab dem Jahr 2019 die Champions League ersetzen, die seit 1993 von der Europäischen Handball Föderation (EHF) organisiert wird. „Handball hat kein vermarktbares Premiumprodukt“, erklärt Gütschow. Die Sportart benötige dringend einen Modernisierungs­schub.

Wie groß die Ambitionen der PHL sind und wie konkret die Pläne, unterstreicht diese Personalie: Peter Vargo, 45, langjähriger EHF-Marketingchef, hat nach Informationen des Handelsblatts seinen Vertrag bei der EHF gekündigt und steigt demnächst bei der PHL ein.

Ein weiteres herausragendes Motiv der Initiatoren ist ihre Einschätzung, dass es bei wichtigen Spielen auf höchstem Niveau nicht immer mit rechten Dingen zugeht. „Es bedarf einer kompletten Neustrukturierung des Schiedsrichterwesens. Die internationalen Verbände können schon lange keine neutrale Wettkampfleitung mehr gewährleisten. Aber genau das ist die Basis eines jeden sportlichen Vergleichs“, sagt Gütschow.

Der administrative Rahmen der PHL ist bereits geschaffen. Die AG in Zürich fungiert als Holding, sie ist Inhaberin der Vermarktungsrechte und soll die Finanzierung der Liga verantworten. Operieren soll die neue Liga von Berlin aus: Die PHL License GmbH & Co. KG befindet sich in der Gründungsphase.

Die Protagonisten planen ein Franchise-System mit zwölf Lizenznehmern zunächst aus zwölf europäischen Metropolen. Also eine reine Lizenzliga, die ohne Auf- und Abstieg organisiert ist. „Dass Großstädte wie Berlin, Paris, Barcelona oder Moskau mitmachen, ist die Bedingung unserer Rechtepartner und Investoren, die das Ziel verfolgen, zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt Handball auf dem US-Markt zu positionieren“, sagt Gütschow. „Warum nicht irgendwann Dubai gegen Chicago, München gegen Liverpool? Wir müssen lernen, Handball zu träumen.“

Klubs aus kleineren Städten seien keineswegs ausgeschlossen. Ein Team wie die Kadetten Schaffhausen etwa könne in Zürich als „Swiss Cadetts“ spielen, so Gütschow, auch sei ein deutsch-dänisches Joint Venture von Klubs wie Kopenhagen und Flensburg denkbar. „Erst wenn so etwas passiert, machen wir den ersten Schritt auf NBA-Niveau. Die Spitze der Branche muss sich von Provinzimage und Kapuzenjacken trennen.“

Das Spieljahr soll von Februar bis Dezember dauern. Zwei Klubs sollen aus Deutschland stammen. „Das würde auch den Kalender der Bundesliga entlasten. Wir streben ein partnerschaftliches Verhältnis mit den nationalen Ligen an“, betont Gütschow.

Ihm und Vargo schweben eine konsequente Markenbildung der Klubs vor. Außerdem will die PHL mit einem Pool aus Profischiedsrichtern arbeiten, die Regeln vereinfachen, Videobeweise einführen und sogenannte Wurfuhren einführen, um Passivität zu unterbinden und das Spiel schneller zu machen.

Die Finanzierung der neuen Liga sei durch die Übernahme von TV- und Werberechten bereits gesichert, sagt Gütschow, aber vor 2019 sei der Start der PHL nicht möglich: „So etwas braucht eine gewissenhafte Vorbereitung mit erfahrenen Spitzenkräften für das Management.“ Und dann ist da ja noch mit starkem Gegenwind seitens Internationaler Handball-Föderation (IHF) und der EHF zu rechnen.

„Eine solche Liga ist möglich“, glaubt Frank Bohmann, der Geschäftsführer der Handball-Bundesliga (HBL), die als stärkste nationale Liga der Welt gilt. „Auf jeden Fall verschärft diese Liga den Wettbewerb. Aber die Dachverbände werden sich auf die Hinterbeine stellen.“ Er rechnet mit Sperren gegen die PHL-Profis, mit harten juristischen Konflikten. „Es ist nachvollziehbar, dass die Verbände ihre Monopolstellung bei der Organisation von Handballveranstaltungen mit Sanktionen behaupten wollen“, erwartet auch Gütschow Widerstände.

Ob die Weltliga kommt oder nicht, liege aber letztlich in der Hand der großen Klubs aus Paris, Barcelona, Veszprém, Kiel, Berlin oder Flensburg, stellt Giorgio Behr, der starke Mann hinter dem Schweizer Champions-League-Teilnehmer Schaffhausen klar. Deutschlands erfolgreichstes Handballteam, der THW Kiel, scheint gewillt. „Wir sind wie andere Topklubs von den Initiatoren über dieses Projekt informiert worden und sehen darin eine große Chance“, sagte THW-Geschäftsführer Thorsten Storm dem Handelsblatt. Eine Entscheidung steht zwar noch aus, aber der Frust ist groß. In der Champions League gebe es etliche Baustellen – etwa die begrenzten Vermarktungsmöglichkeiten und die viel zu hohe Belastung der Spieler, beklagt Storm. Das wollen die Vereine ändern: „Wir bezahlen die Spieler, die Spieler werfen die Tore, aber die Regeln bestimmen andere.“

Das im Jahr 2007 gegründete Forum Club Handball (FCH) fungiert, wie die European Club Association (ECA) im Profifußball, als Interessenorganisation der europäischen Spitzenklubs. FCH-Geschäftsführer Gerd Butzeck, 57, äußert sich zu den Plänen einer Weltliga. 

Herr Butzeck, ist das Modell einer privat organisierten Handball-Liga realistisch?

Warum nicht? Immer wieder kommt von verschiedenen Seiten der Ruf nach einer von den Klubs selbst organisierten Champions League auf. Im Basketball, Eishockey und im Rugby wird die Champions League von Firmen organisiert, die mehrheitlich den Klubs gehören. Kürzlich hat ECA-Präsident Karl-Heinz Rummenigge geäußert, dass er sich eine europäische Superliga mit den Topklubs aus England, Deutschland, Spanien, Italien und Frankreich, entweder privat oder von der Uefa organisiert, durchaus vorstellen könne.

Die Topvereine im Handball hadern mit der wirtschaftlichen Bilanz ihrer Champions League.

Die Velux Champions League hat sich zu einem etablierten Produkt entwickelt. Die Einnahmen der Klubs sind allerdings in den vergangenen Jahren nicht gestiegen. Einige Vereine sind mit der Champions League nicht einverstanden, weil zu viele Spiele stattfinden – andere, weil zu wenige Spiele stattfinden. Alle kritisieren gemeinsam, dass die Ausschüttung an die Vereine zu gering ist.

Eine privat organisierte Liga wird auch den Weltverband IHF berühren. Stört das das Verhältnis der Klubs zur IHF?

Die Klubs beklagen die Ignoranz der IHF auf allen Ebenen. Während der Weltfußball­verband Fifa mit der ECA eine Vereinbarung getroffen hat, negiert die IHF die Existenz der Klubs. Gespräche finden nicht statt. Die IHF regiert den Handball, ohne mit den Hauptprotagonisten, den Klubs, zu sprechen. Regeländerungen, etwa der Fernsehbeweis, passives Spiel oder die Blaue Karte werden ohne jede Rücksprache mit den Klubs eingeführt und wieder abgeschafft. Eine private Liga könnte die bestehenden verkrusteten Strukturen aufbrechen und das Produkt nachhaltig verbessern.

Wie werden die Klubs auf die Offerte der PHL reagieren?

Sie werden das Angebot aufmerksam studieren, wenn es sich um einen attraktiven Wettbewerb mit deutlich besseren Einnahmemöglichkeiten handelt. Die EHF wird über einen konkurrierenden Wettbewerb natürlich nicht begeistert sein, da sie ihr Budget teilweise aus den Einnahmen der Champions League generiert. Aber die letzte Entscheidung werden die Klubs treffen müssen.

 

Date: 2016.01.20 | Category: EHF, EU Commission, Euroleague Handball | Response: 0

As reported earlier this week, the well-known German HANDELSBLATT (article by Erik Eggers) published details on the ‘Premier-Handball-League’ Project on 18.1.2016. Please find below the full version of the article, translated into English language:

18.1.2016 Handelsblatt: ‘Handball Worldleague becomes more concrete’ by Erik Eggers

The idea of a Handball Superleague, acting with European Top teams only, shall become reality in 2019. The ambitions are big, the ‘Premier Handball League’ even wants to conquer the US-Market.

T H E  B I G  S H O T

The stock-company, registered at the commercial register of Zurich under the file CH-020-3.402.676-5 on 25th November 2015, is only known by a couple of insiders up to now. The new company, called ‘Premier Handball League’ (PHL), could change the balance of power in the handball. The core of the project is the creation of an international professional league, with PHL organizing the competition and expoloiting the rights on behalf of the clubs.

President of the board is Wolfgang Gütschow. The 53-year-old is well-known in handball business for years, starting 1993 as manager of the Russian National team, later acting as players agent. Among his clients are the current National team coach Dagur Sigurdsson and goal keeper Carsten Lichtlein, both of them participating in the European Championship, currently taking place in Poland.

Almost a year Gütschow, one of the leading figures in handball, is working behind the scenes on the idea of a ‚Handball NBA‘, a league copying the North American Basketball system. As of the year 2019 the PHL shall replace the current Championsleague, organized by the European Handball Federation (EHF) since 1993. ‘Handball has no marketable premium product’, explains Gütschow. The sport needs to be modernized urgently.

How serious and how concrete the ambitions of the PHL are, is underlined by the change of personnel: Peter Vargo, 45, the long-serving EHF-Marketing boss, has cancelled his contract with EHF and will join the PHL project.

A further outstanding motivation is the perception of the initiators that in numerous matches on highest level not all things are running properly. ‘We need a complete restructuring of the refereeing system. The international federations are not able to provide neutral officiating. But especially this is the basis of every sportive competition’, says Gütschow.  

The administrative framework of the PHL has been set up already. The stock company in Zurich acts as a holding, owning the marketing rights and taking the responsibility for finances. The league shall be operated from Berlin: The PHL Licence GmbH&Co KG is in incorporation.

The protagonists plan a franchise-system with twelve licensees from 12 European metropolitan areas. This means a pure license based league, organized without promotion and relegation. ‘The participation of big cities like Berlin, Paris, Barcelona or Moscow is a precondition for our partners and investors which intend to position handball on the US-market at a later stage’ says Gütschow. ‘Why not to play some day Dubai vs Chicago, Munich vs Liverpool and Vienna vs Amsterdam? We need to learn, how to dream handball!’

Clubs from smaller cities are not excluded at all. A team like, ie Kadetten Schaffhausen, could join as Zurich based ‘Swiss Cadetts’, according to Gütschow, but also a german-danish joint-venture of Copenhagen and Flensburg is thinkable. ‘If something like this will happen, we are approaching the level of the NBA. The market leaders have to say good-bye to the provincial image. 

The playing year shall last from February to December. Two clubs shall participate. ‘This would reduce the calendar problems of the German Bundesliga. We intend to have a fair partnership with the national leagues’, underlines Gütschow.

Gütschow and Vargo are dreaming about building up the clubs as sustainable brands. Furthermore, this the PHL will work with a pool of professional referees, simplify the rules, allow video proof, establish a shot-clock to avoid passive play and make the game faster.

Financing is already settled by taking over TV- and Marketing rights, says Gütschow, but a start of the PHL is not possible before 2019: ‘Such a project needs serious preparation with experienced top officials in the management.’ And beside this, one has to expect serious resistance of International Handball Federation (IHF) and EHF.

‚Such a league is possible‘, says Frank Bohmann, the Managing Director of Handball-Bundesliga which is regarded to be the strongest national league in the world. ‘In any case this league will strengthen the competition. But the federations will oppose.’ He expects disqualification of PHL-professionals, also severe juridical conflicts. ‘It is understandable, that the federations will try to defend their monopoly on organizing Handball events by all means’, also Gütschow is expecting resistance.

Whether the world league will become reality or not, ultimately will depend on the opinion of the big clubs from Paris, Barcelona, Veszprem, Kiel, Berlin or Flensburg, clarifies Giorgio Behr, the decision taker of the Swiss Championsleague participant Schaffhausen. Germanys most successful team THW seems to be willing: ‘Like others we have been informed by the initiators about the project and see a big chance’, says THW-Managing Director Thorsten Storm to Handelsblatt. A decision hasn’t been taken yet, but the frustration is big. In the current Championsleague many things are improvable – ie the small number of marketing rights and the exaggerated workload for the players, complains Storm. The clubs want to change this: ‘We are paying the players, the players are scoring the goals, but the rules are determined by others.’

 

Founded in 2007, FORUM CLUB HANDBALL eV (FCH) acts as the European Club Association (ECA) in professional football, as an interest group of European Top clubs. FCH Managing Director Gerd Butzeck, 57, comments on the plans of the World league.

Mr. Butzeck, is the modell of a privately organised Handball league realistic?

Why not? Permanently and from different sides people are asking for a Championsleague, organized by the clubs. In Basketball, Icehockey and Rugby the Championsleague is organized by companies which mainly belong to the clubs. A few days ago ECA-boss Rummenigge announced that he can imagine to have an European Superleague consisting out of the top clubs of the five top nations, organized from UEFA or organized privately.

The top clubs in Handball are complaining about the financial result of the Championsleague.

The Championsleague in Handball became an established product. But the revenues of the clubs did not increase during the last years. Many clubs are not satisfied with the Championsleague format. Some of them complain about to many matches, some of them would like to play more matches. All of them criticize that the financial output is not sufficient.

A privately organized league will also touch the world federation IHF. Will this disturb the relation of clubs and IHF?

The clubs are complaining about the ignorance of IHF on all levels. While FIFA signed an agreement with ECA, the IHF is neglecting the existence of the clubs. No negotiations are taking place. IHF is running the handball business, without communicating with the main protagonists – the clubs. Rule changes, ie TV proof, passive play and blue card are invented and abolished without any communication. A private league could burst these structures and improve the product sustainable.

How will the clubs react on the offer of the PHL?

They will listen to the offer carefully, if the competition is attractive and the revenues are significantly higher. The European Federation will not be enthusiastic about this rival competition for sure, as the EHF-budget is covered partly out of the Championsleague revenues. The final decision has to be taken by the clubs.

Date: 2016.01.18 | Category: EHF, Euroleague Handball | Response: 0

According to the German HANDELSBLATT (article by Erik Eggers) the swiss based Premier Handball League AG wishes to set up a Handball World League as of 2019. According to the information of the newspaper, EHF Marketing GmbH Managing Director Peter Vargo will join the project. Driving force of the project is Wolfgang Gütschow, 53, former manager of the Russian National team and well-kown players agent. We will publish the full article here later this week.

Date: 2015.12.04 | Category: EHF | Response: 0

The age limit was the interesting issue of Extraordinary Congress, held by EHF last weekend in Bukarest. After long discussions the Congress did not change the according statutes. This means that the current president Jean Brihault can not be reelected in 2016! At the end of the congress the first candidate for the succession of Brihault announced his candidacy. It was – EHF Secretary General M. Wiederer!