In a meeting held on Tuesday in Munich, Germany, Euroleague Basketball presented a collaboration proposal to FIBA addressing the key points necessary for a fluid institutional cooperation, outlining the responsibilities of each organisation, defining a stable organisational framework looking forward and accepting the requests from FIBA. The meeting came after having made repeated requests during the last six months for conversations to be held, with the clubs accepting FIBA’s recent invitation to meet on this occasion.
The main points proposed by Euroleague Basketball were:
1.Definition of a collaboration agreement that establishes a stable, long-term framework in which mutual confidence plays a central role in execution.
2.Elimination of any sanctions on clubs and national teams, respecting both the freedom of clubs to decide their future as well as the national teams´ participation in competitions for which they have qualified, and the modification of those rules and regulations that currently allow such sanctions to be imposed.
3. Integration of FIBA and Euroleague Basketball through new governance and competition structures:
a. Governance: FIBA to become involved in the Euroleague Basketball organisation
i. Euroleague Basketball will continue to manage the first tier of European club competitions, currently featuring 40 clubs. The FIBA Basketball Champions League Board will manage the second tier of European club competitions
ii. Applying vertical access from bottom to top in European competitions through a promotion system for each competition’s respective champion, studying an increase in the access from one competition to another
iii. Agreement on competition calendars in four-year cycles while accepting to study the inclusion of national team windows as per the FIBA 2017 project
iv. FIBA to solely manage basketball rules, international transfers, doping control regulations and execution
4. Definition of new common standards for the participation of players in national team competitions:
a. Minimum insurance policy standards to be applied consistently for all clubs
b. Agreed compensation to clubs for their contributions to national team competitions following the model of other professional sports
The proposal was developed in agreement with the principal professional basketball clubs in an understanding of the importance of creating a stable and smooth collaboration with the international federation in order to enable close cooperation between all international basketball organisations based on commitment towards the growth of professional and amateur basketball moving forward.
Despite the constructive approach that all Euroleague Basketball representatives brought to the meeting, including acceptation of FIBA’s requests, and in spite of the agreement that Euroleague Basketball will manage European tier one club basketball, the parties were unable to reach an agreement regarding the number of clubs that will participate in the first tier European club competitions. FIBA rejected to remove the sanctions and threats of possible sanctions that European clubs and national teams are currently under.
Euroleague Basketball will continue with its ongoing efforts to ensure that further growth of professional club basketball is achieved through dialogue, consensus and respecting the freedom of choice for all clubs, leaving no space for sanctions or punishments, neither against any club nor other institutions, as a result of said choices. Euroleague Basketball also expressed hope that there will be a follow up meeting to be able to discuss the only pending topic in the near future.
The following executives represented Euroleague Basketball at the meeting:
Maurizio Gherardini (Fenerbahce Istanbul)
David Federman (Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv)
Shimon Mizrahi (Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv)
George Skindilias (Olympiacos Piraeus)
Juan Carlos Sanchez (Real Madrid)
Jordi Bertomeu (Euroleague Basketball)
Eduard J. Scott (Euroleague Basketball)