Karl-Heinz Rummenigge steps down as European Club Association chairman

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has left the European Club Association (ECA) after serving as its chairman for nine years.

Rummenigge led the ECA since it was founded in January 2008 as a replacement for the G-14 alliance of Europe's biggest clubs.

Last month, the 61-year-old had announced that he would not stand for re-election, saying he "always believed this office should only be held for a limited amount of time."

On Monday, Rummenigge held his parting speech in Geneva ahead of the election of a new chairman on Tuesday.

"It was an honour to work with you. I think we've done the right thing," he said. "ECA has become a strong and fair partner for UEFA and FIFA. When we first started, we had visions.

"Today, we can proudly say that within a decade, ECA has achieved more than we dared to hope, and since nobody is given an office for life, I can leave this position with a good conscience."

During his term, Rummenigge developed ECA into one of the major institutions in world football, with 230 members and two seats on the UEFA executive committee.

It also jointly manages the marketing of the Champions League and Europa League with UEFA.

Rummenigge, who recently spoke of his optimism that a salary cap will be introduced into European football, said he is satisfied that "we have never given up our sense of solidarity" throughout his term.

He also welcomed the reforms to the Champions League and said: "We have increased solidarity payments by more than 40 percent from €199 million to €284m. I am proud of that."

The Bayern chief thanked FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who were both in attendance for the farewell, but added that ECA should not forget former UEFA president Michel Platini, "to whom we owe so much."