Soccerex are delighted to announce a new cooperation with the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) which will see them host their official strategic committees meeting at the upcoming Soccerex Global Convention 2017, 4-6 September, Manchester. Under this initiative, the President of Liga Portugal Pedro Proença together with the two committee chairs, Jacco Swart, CEO Eredivisie and Claudius Schäfer, CEO Swiss Football League have agreed to lend their expertise to a conference session titled ‘The League View’ where they will speak alongside Shaun Harvey CEO, English Football League (EFL). The four leagues’ representatives are members of the EPFL Board of Directors and will bring their years of insight and experience to discuss their league’s perspective on subjects like broadcasting rights, governance, tournament development, technology and player welfare.
The EPFL is the voice of professional football leagues across Europe on matters of common interest. It represents more than 32 professional football leagues and associations of clubs in 25 countries in which more than 900 clubs play across Europe. From the Premier League in England to Liga Portugal, from the Veikkausliiga in Finland to the Super League in Greece and the Bundesliga in Germany the EPFL represents national competitions run by domestic leagues. Domestic leagues are the backbone and heartbeat of football competition. Every weekend the European Leagues deliver club football to fans and the wider football community to support their enjoyment of and passion for their favourite football team in their favourite competition. The EPFL’s goal is to protect and enhance the competitive balance of national competitions run by the domestic leagues so that they can help all their member clubs perform at the highest sporting level in a sustainable and competitively balanced environment.
Proença is the President of Liga Portugal since 2015, EPFL Board Member and Vice-president of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). Former international referee – Best World Referee in 2012 (IFFHS criterion) -, Proença has refereed in the UEFA Champions League and Euro 2012 Finals. He has an academic degree in Business Management and is also the CEO of some Portuguese companies. Since assuming the leadership of the Portuguese League, he has focused on its financial recovery, adjustment of the competition model, rebranding and repositioning. The League has, now, a sustainable plan to develop and promote internationally young Portuguese talents and its competitions aligned with its current positioning of “Football with talent”.
Swart is CEO of the Eredivisie, EPFL Board Member and Chairman on the EPFL Strategic Committee on Football matters. Having worked within Dutch football since 1996, Swart has over 20 years of experience dealing with football league matters. This has led him to his EPFL role where he now looks after matters relating to competitions, players, transfers as well as youth football. The Eredivisie has just celebrated its 60th anniversary with continued celebrations throughout the 2016/17 season. Since its inception in 1956, the Eredivisie clubs have continued to produce fantastic youth players leading to a very competitive national side. In addition the teams have regularly achieved success in Europe with their leading sides all winning the European Cup; Ajax four times, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord once each.
Schäfer is CEO of the Swiss Football League, Member of the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee and also Board Member and Chairman of Strategic Committee at EPFL. He has over 15 years’ experience working in football handling football league matters. Like Swart, this led him to an EPFL active role in which Claudius oversees business, regulatory and EU matters. His time as CEO of the Swiss Football League has seen its teams regularly compete in European competition with Swiss first division side FC Basel reaching the Semi-finals of the Europa League in 2013.
Harvey was appointed Chief Executive of The EFL in July 2013, having formerly been Chief Executive of Leeds United for nine years. Previously a member of The Football League Board of Directors, he now oversees the day-to-day administration and management of Europe’s fourth largest football competition – the Sky Bet EFL alongside the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy. Prior to his time at Elland Road, Harvey was Managing Director of Bradford City for ten years, having originally begun his career in football as Club Secretary of Scarborough in 1993. Harvey has been involved with the EPFL Board since 2015, representing the voice of Associate Members.
The EPFL strategic committees are comprised of over 25 senior league figures from across the continent. With the EPFL inviting all committee members to the official meetings at Global Convention and Proença, Swart, Schäfer and Harvey participating in ‘The League View’ session the previous day, there will be an abundance of senior league representatives at the event providing a unique opportunity for businesses looking to engage them.