On January 8th 2010 the IHF for the first time during the presidency of Hassan Moustafa invited Club representatives to a working group on Calendar issues. On this occasion GROUP CLUB HANDBALL EEIG sent a letter to the IHF-President. Please find the letter below:
Dear Mr. President,
For the first time during your presidency (beside an unofficial meeting with former GROUP CLUB HANDBALL EEIG (GCH) Vice President U. Schwenker in December 2008) you scheduled a working group meeting with the participation of club representatives.
As you know the European Handball Federation (EHF) is in permanent contact with GCH in order to find solutions for the most urgent topics in European Handball.
GCH appreciates very much that you obviously intend to involve the clubs in decision making process of the International Handball Federation (IHF).
In order to avoid misunderstandings we would like to clarify that the invited Clubs possibly will express their personal opinion – but they will have no mandate to speak on behalf of the clubs in general or on behalf of GCH in particular.
As you are obviously willing to listen to clubs, we would like to inform you about the general position of the European Top Clubs as follows:
Priority requests of major European Handball Clubs (GCH) vis-à-vis EHF/IHF
1. Clubs must be an accepted element of the European/International handball policy making environment and must therefore be integrated in the EHF/IHF decision making body (=> seat(s) in EHF/IHF (Executive Committee)
2. Appropriate direct representation has to be given to the major European Clubs (GCH) who are the principal wealth creators in handball and eventually represent the principal attraction for the financial backers of the game
3. Clubs competing regularly at international level and whose players are regularly called upon for playing with their national team must be directly involved in the elaboration and approval of a harmonized international calendar
4. Clubs competing regularly at international level and whose players are regularly called upon for playing with their national team must be directly involved in the elaboration of all major competition formats (including national team/competitions, since these competitions require the presence participation of a majority of players employed by said clubs)
5. Clubs competing regularly at international level must be involved directly in the elaboration and approval of International club competition regulations, both on continental and World level.
6. Whenever participating clubs are co-owners of the rights deriving from an international club competition (i.e. EHF Champions League), all aspects outside the field of exclusive competence of a regulatory body (EHF/IHF), in particular commercial and organizational aspects have to be managed by a mixed body composed of the clubs concerned and the organizer (EHF/IHF).
7. A reasonable share of the revenue generated by major final tournaments of A-national teams (European Championship, etc) must be distributed to the clubs who release players for these tournaments (à “players’ release compensation”)
8. Insurance cover for players injured on the occasion of national team duty (not limited to final tournaments) must be assumed out of a central pool, fed from revenue generated by national team competitions (-> centrally marketed final rounds)
This document was confirmed by all GCH member clubs during a General Assembly in January 2007.
In particular the GCH-member clubs are – like the big majority of Handball fans all over Europe – in favor of 3 big Championships (1 Continental Championship, 1 World Championship and Olympic Games) instead of currently 5 (2 Continental Championships, 2 World Championships and 1 Olympic Games) within one Olympic Cycle (4 years).
If this should not be possible due to financial needs of the various federations, we demand at least a reduction from 5 to 4 Championships. In this case the Continental Federations and the World Federations should have 2 events each within one Olympic Cycle, ending up with 2 continental Championships, 1 World Championship and 1 Olympic Games.
These championships should be played – like in Football, Basketball, Volleyball and Icehockey – between the end and the start of the season.
GCH member clubs unanimously prefer the European and the World Championships to be played in the period after the end of the Club Season – which means end of May/beginning of June.
The Olympic Qualification Tournament should be abolished.
The participants of the Olympic Games should be determined on the basis of the results of the last World- and Continental Championships.
The World Championship Qualification should be played with the Play-Off System – as in the past.
Dear Mr. President, of course it is a good idea to discuss the Calendar question in a mixed body. You invited Continental representatives, Federation representatives and Club representatives although the clubs which are present during your meeting are not entitled to confirm any draft of a calendar for the next years. But they are willing to listen to your arguments.
GROUP CLUB HANDBALL EEIG will discuss the statements of the working group during their meeting on 31st January in Vienna where you or anyone you designate from your organization will always be welcome.
We understand that the nominated working group can’t take any decisions. All decisions should be taken by mixed bodies, including (as in football/UEFA) the opinion of all stakeholders namely players, leagues, clubs and federations. Hopefully the European Commission will give us some advice in this respect.
We kindly ask you to consider the opinion of GROUP CLUB HANDBALL EEIG during your meeting on 28.1.2010 in Vienna.
In Football the clubs and the federations reached an agreement on the most important issues in January 2008. We should work in the same direction.
With kind regards
GROUP CLUB HANDBALL EEIG