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