Euroleague and ACB go head to head

Euroleague BasketballThe two strongest European leagues, Euroleague and ACB have stopped negotiations after failing to reach a consensus, regarding the strategic plan for the future of Euroleague, which is to be approved in Euroleague's General Assembly July 8, next Wednesday.

Euroleague sources say that they regret that ACB is the only league with whom they could not reach a consensus regarding the Euroleague project due to the fact that the ACB clubs commision CBA did not give the green light to the ACB executive board to sign the approval of Euroleague's future plans and Euroleague had no other choice than to stop the negotiations.

But why does the ACB clubs commision disagree one would ask? The answer is because according to the Euroleague plan Spain will continue having only four Euroleague spots, at least until 2012, and at the same time according to the same plan four Spanish clubs [namely TAU Barcelona, TAU and Unicaja] will get 3-year A Licenses which means that for the next three season no other Spanish club will be able to enter the Euroleague, unless they unless they finish at least third in ACB. 13 members of the CBA are against the plan, and if we take out the four forementioned teams that will get the A licenses that means that all ACB teams are against it.

CBA wants to implement their own Euroleague spot awarding system which will see two teams getting qualified based on their overall results of the past three season in ACB and two spots going to the best placed teams of the season.

The two sides' approach of the conflict is entirely opposite and we will try to shed some light for those who are not up to date with the latest happenings.

According to Euroleague, their Shareholders Executive Board [which was voted by 23 out of the total 30 Euroleague clubs and National Leagues who are members and have the right to vote] can approve any future plans on their own without consulting anyone else. For those who do not remember the Euroleague Shareholders Executive Board was created in the February 17th meeting in Rome and it consists of 13 members: Prokom, CSKA Moscow, Efes Pilsen, Olympiacos, Maccabi TA, Montepaschi Siena, Real Madrid, TAU, Adriatic League, German BBL, Italian Lega A and French LNB and of course Mr. jordi Bertomeu as the CEO of the Euroleague, who is also the President of this Shareholders Executive Board.

Unfortunately for Euroleague their opposition [whose most prominent members are ACB, Greek A1 and Panathinaikos] say that since the Euroleague Shareholders Executive Board was voted and approved by 23/30 of the members that breaches the basic rule of Euroleague itself according to which for any decision to be implemented 80% of the votes are required. The percentage of votes the 23 members who created the Shareholders Executive Board equals to 77%.

While Euroleague claims that the votes against were only 4 [two teams and two National Leagues (presumably ACB, Greek A1)] and 3 blank votes not even revealing them, sources inside CSKA Moscow say that the votes against were actually 5 with 2 blank votes.

According to sources the votes against were indeed five – DKV Joventut, Nancy, French LNB, ACB, ULEB – and two blank votes – Greek A1 and Israeli BSL.

Euroleague also claims that the February decisions about the three years strategic plan are de facto binding and final and July 8th assembly will only be typical, both ACB and the Greek A1 have both claimed in the past, by official letters of complain towards Euroleague, that the proposed plan has not been legally voted last February.

Of course Euroleague is hinting that they got the Greek A1 by their side when their sources refer to ACB as 'the only League with which they could not reach a consensus', and in a tactital maneuver awarded them a 4th Euroleague spot (Aris Thessaloniki instead of Azovmash Mariupol).  Logic says that if Greek A1 insisted on opposing the Euroleague's plan they would not be awarded that 4th extra spot. And Euroleague would certianly not give away a spot with a light heart if they didn't make sure they would get something in exchange [their vote].

In the meanwhile as we were ready to close the article ACB responded to Euroleague's action to stop the negotiations between the two sides by a severe announcement where they threat to go as far as the CAS (The Court of Arbitration for Sport) in Switzerland and the European Commission of Competition in Brussels against Euroleague's plans to make Euroleague a semi-closed competition.

ACB also insists that the new plan was voted against in the Assembly of July 2008 and now legally binding decisions have been made since then.

One thing is for sure, it is going to be a long assembly next Wednesday and Euroleague sources say that they hope that at least the 2009/10 Euroleague season will not be an object of controversy, so that the negotiations can be resumed and continued during the next season.