Hosted by the Polish Professional Football League (Ekstraklasa), the EPFL gathered yesterday its Member Leagues for a meeting of its Strategic Committee on Business, Legal & EU Matters. The Committee was chaired by Claudius Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of the Swiss Football League and EPFL Board Member, and counted with the presence of business, legal and competition directors from sixteen European Leagues.
During the meeting, the leagues’ representatives had the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics primarily related to business and commercial aspects of league management. The discussions focused on range of topics including, among others, official league data management, Esports and new technologies both from a tactical short-term and strategic long-term perspective.
In addition, the topic of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) was discussed by the audience following the recent historical decision of The IFAB to unanimously approve the use of VARs. The Polish Ekstraklasa took the opportunity to share their experience on this topic as one of the first competition organiser to implement and launch the VARs system at domestic level.
Furthermore, the leagues had the chance to discuss about IPR protection and the mounting challenge which online piracy is causing to sport competition organizers and rights holders whose value relies on live audiovisual content.
Finally, the group of experts was presented with the work performed by the EPFL Integrity Platform and discussed about the Council of Europe Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions which is has the potentiality to become the very first legally binding international tool to fight match-fixing.
A the end of the meeting, the President of the hosting Polish Ekstraklasa Marcin Animucki stated: “We are very pleased that we were able to host the members of the EPFL Strategic Committee. We have always supported the Association activities and organizing such meetings is both a privilege and an obligation for us. The meeting was very constructive, we could exchange experiences and learn from each other. Each league builds its value in own way and it is worth to share projects, that increase the interest in the game.
During the meeting we have presented the tools working in Ekstraklasa. We have very good experiences both with the VAR system and with TRACAB fitness data system. We also have launched an innovative mobile app that builds community around the league and increases the fans’ engagement in the game. We perceived our app as a data platform, where different leagues could connect their potentials.”
The next meetings of the EPFL shall take place in Edinburgh to be hosted by the Scottish Professional Football League. On the occasion the EPFL will hold its 2nd General Assembly of the 2017/2018 season and will organize a workshop with focus on “Innovation in Football Competition Formats”