Wednesday 9 March 2011 – Professional Handball Board (Text:EHF)
The Professional Handball Board (PHB) is a common strategic platform for the key stakeholders within European men’s handball. It is made up of representatives of National Federations, Clubs, European Professional Leagues and Players, with two representatives from each stakeholder group making up the Board. The Chairman of the Professional Handball Board also has a seat on the EHF Executive Committee.
Present at the second meeting of the PHB on Wednesday 9 March were Morten Stig Christensen / DEN and Philippe Bana / FRA representing the National Federations and the Nations Board, Gerd Butzeck / GER and Joan Marin / ESP representing the Clubs through Forum Club Handball and Reiner Witte / GER and Arne Josefsen / DEN representing the Professional Leagues through the European Professional Handball League Association, which held its inaugural meeting at the end of February 2011.
The final group to join the PHB were the Players, represented in an observer status by Marc-Olivier Albertini, a representative of the European Handball Players Union (EHPU). This followed a coordination meeting the day previously between the EHF and EHPU, in which the approval of the Union’s structure and statutes as well as the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding were discussed.
Representing the EHF Executive Committee were EHF Vice President, Jean Brihault, and Jan Tuik. EHF President, Tor Lian, and EHF Secretary General, Michael Wiederer, were also present in the meeting.
Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
The PHB elected a Chairman, Joan Marin / ESP representing the clubs through the Forum Club Handball. Joan Marin will now join the EHF Executive Committee for the coming period. Reiner Witte / GER representing the professional leagues through the European Professional Handball League Association was elected Vice-Chairman of the PHB.
EHF European Championships
The PHB also discussed proposals for changes to the schedule of future EHF European Championships. From the next Men’s EHF EURO in Serbia in 2012 it is proposed that the first two groups would throw off on Sunday, with the next two on Monday. Semi-finals would be played on Friday, Saturday would become a rest day and finals would be played on Sunday. This new match schedule will contribute to a better periodisation of match and rest days for the teams and players.
After clarification with the 2012 organisers, the Serbian Handball Federation, the approval of the optimised schedule will be put to the next meeting of the Executive Committee in Vienna on 8 / 9 April 2011.
In relation to the future of the EHF European Championships and the EURO product, there was an exchange of information about the development of a TV, media and marketing strategy in order to further optimise the product.
The PHB discussed the idea of an overall insurance system for national team players and in particular compensation for the salaries of injured players from a fund. The various options will be evaluated in a workshop in order to create a proposal for the next PHB.
European club competitions
The issue of possible future systems for European Cup and EHF Champions League competitions was raised for the first time. It was agreed that this subject together with the question of playing dates and the overall calendar will be examined in detail through a major study by external specialists of the entire competition system and effects of any changes on the handball market.
Education of handball managers
There was unanimous agreement from those present to introduce an education/further education programme for managers in handball. A concept will be developed by a working group in March in order to present a concept to the EHF Executive Committee.
The PHB further discussed the issues of communication between stakeholders, the information and decision making process within the EHF structure and also external communications to the handball and media world.
Last but not least the meeting was informed of the outcome of the previous Competitions Commission meeting and the proposals that would be presented to the EHF Executive Committee. There was common agreement that the meeting was conducted in a positive atmosphere.