IHF, EHF and Now GCH (Handball G14 Formally Established)

Last Friday, 25 November 2006, a new and important acronym was added to the Team Handball vernacular- the GCH. The GCH or Group Club Handball was formally established at a meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany. The GCH is modeled after soccer’s G14 of elite clubs and seeks to represent the interests of the major European clubs. The 14 “self anointed” clubs are:

Kiel (Germany)
Flensburg (Germany)
Madgeburg (Germany)
Lemgo (Germany)
Ciudad Real (Spain)
Portland San Antonio (Spain)
Barcelona (Spain)
Ademar Leon (Spain)
Montpellier (France)
Celje (Slovenia)
Kolding (Denmark)
Veszprem (Hungary)
Zagreb (Croatia)
Medvedi (Russia)

This membership was principally based upon having won a European Cup since 2000, but new members may be added in the future based on performance. Additionally, Kolding, Veszprem and Zagreb were added based on the prominent role those countries have in
the handball world.

GCH leaders, in interviews have emphasized their desire to work with the EHF and IHF on a number of different issues and that their mode of operations would be “cooperation instead of confrontation.” There are a number of different issues where the GCH will likely play a major role in the near future. Those issues include:

– The EHF’s proposed 4 year cycle for the World Championship
– The total number of games top players are expected to play for club and national team competitions
– The IHF’s proposed World League of Clubs
– The EHF’s future plans for the Champions League (both in terms of marketing and structure)

Sources: (in German)