Joint Declaration on the European Football Pyramid Prague, 21 April 2023


Today, following the 46th General Assembly of European Leagues, the European leagues and stakeholders have taken a step forward in the defence of European football by signing a joint declaration. The following statement represents the strong conviction of the European Leagues and their members. We wholeheartedly support the European Football Pyramid and urge all European stakeholders to ratify these principles.


The following declaration is a firm belief of the European Leagues and its members. We wholeheartedly support the European Football Pyramid and call on all European stakeholders to affirm these principles.

The professional leagues of Europe declare and commit to the following principles sacred to our game:

  • Open competitions with promotion and relegation only at national championship level;
  • A qualification system for European competitions that is rooted in sporting merit via yearly qualification from domestic competitions;
  • A fair and balanced solidarity system that aims to support the development of the sport at the lower levels of the game where training and development as well as participation, is founded;
  • A structure of good governance and dialogue involving major stakeholders of the football economy to have a voice and impact;
  • Governing bodies (which combine regulatory, commercial and sporting functions) are best suited to meaningfully involve and fairly balance the interests of legitimate parties in the European decision-making processes, rather than purely profit-oriented entities.

These fundamentals are unanimously championed by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and as well as national governments, public institutions, and stakeholders across the continent.

European football has remained steadfastly robust throughout its history even when undergoing challenges and evolution. However, this has only been possible through its openness and commitment to wholesale participation across the entire football pyramid. It means safeguarding and preserving the football economy from grassroots to the elite and maintaining those crucial links across its entire ecosystem.

Football is more than a business and much more than a consumer good. It is a social benefit underpinned by a vast ecosystem that affects communities and society at large. Football generates an economy that is socially responsible to the citizenry across Europe. We cannot allow football to be weakened or compromised by shortterm financial temptations nor realisations of global power. Any attempt by private entities to portray a similar objective is illusory.  

Without established objectivity and inclusion of stakeholders, a healthy football environment is a mirage and unsustainable. European football must continue to stand together firmly for the positive future development of the game and society; therefore, we ask our fellow football stakeholders at the continental level to pledge their support for the principles above.


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