Bell Pottinger to fight UEFA ownership ruling

Bell Pottinger Communications is understood to have been appointed to lobby against a ruling by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), blocking clubs with common ownership from playing each other in its three competitions.

Bell Pottinger Communications is understood to have been appointed

to lobby against a ruling by the Union of European Football Associations

(UEFA), blocking clubs with common ownership from playing each other in

its three competitions.



ENIC, an investment trust with stakes in four European football clubs,

is believed to have hired the agency to lobby against the ruling which

would prevent its teams from competing simultaneously in UEFA

events.



Bell Pottinger Consultants, and its sister Financial and Public Affairs

divisions will work with ENIC’s retained financial PR agency, Financial

Dynamics and with Bell Pottinger affiliate lobbying agency, European

Public Policy Advisers. Competition policy specialists GJW are also

understood to have been brought in to support the trust’s case if

necessary on lobbying issues.



The agencies will promote ENIC’s case among officials from both the

European Union and a range of football league bodies within Europe,

including the English Football Association.



Last month, UEFA’s executive committee ruled that, when clubs are under

common control, only one will be able to take part in a competition.

Football’s world governing body, the Federation of International

Football Associations (FIFA), is due to announce the results of a vote

to ratify the UEFA ruling in the next few days.



ENIC owns 25 per cent of Glasgow Rangers football club and has a

controlling stake in three European clubs - AEK Athens, Slavia Prague

and Vicenza.



Rangers, Slavia and AEK Athens have all qualified for UEFA championships

next season.



- Kevin Murray, until April director of communications at British

Airways (PR Week, 10 April), has been appointed as a senior consultant

at Bell Pottinger Consultants. He will be charged with developing an

employee communications division and will also handle clients including

car manufacturer Daimler-Benz.



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