EuroLeague president and CEO, Jordi Bertomeu, spoke with selected media on Sunday (19/05) and addressed many interesting topics.
TalkBasket.net was invited to the event, where Mr Bertomeu referred to the conflict between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, the cities that will host the 2020 and 2021 Final Four, FIBA, the ABA League, the competition’s next plan and much more.
Here is what Bertomeu said:
On the conflict between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos: “This is an internal affair, but we are not neutrals. We are disappointed, because the Greek Federation does not solve the problem. When you have a responsibility, you can’t be passive.
In the EuroLeague, we never had issues between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, because both teams understood the environment. The Greek Federation is not capable of solving the issue.
No, there is no option what happens in Greece will affect the participation of Olympiacos in the competition next season.
We will not allow the league to be contaminated, because of the mess between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos.”
On the cities that will host the 2020 and 2021 Final Four: “We want to announce the two cities that will host the next two Final Four events and that is why we postpone the announcement.
Yet, if the plan for 2021 does not work, then we will soon announce the city that will host the 2020 EuroLeague Final Four.”
On the participation of a Greek team in the EuroCup: “The EuroCup is an open competition to all domestic leagues through the rankings. The Greek Federation pushes the teams to FIBA, though.
Of course we talk with the clubs and hope they will be free to choose where to play. If that happens, then a Greek team is more than welcome to the EuroCup.”
On FIBA and the problems that have occurred: “We have to re-build our trust with FIBA. The national teams play without their top players. This is a problem of FIBA, not ours.
The system of FIBA is good, but there have to be changes in that. We have to establish a system where all players are available for the national team competitions. That is what we should do to solve the calendar issue.”
On the ABA League: “There are three teams from the ABA League in the EuroCup and this shows how much we admire the league.
But, these teams don’t seem ready to be competitive in the EuroLeague. I think one team in the EuroLeague and three teams in the EuroCup is a balanced plan.”
On who will be given the wild card in the EuroCup: “We have to wait until the end of June, when all domestic leagues will come to an end and then decide who will be granted the wild card in the EuroCup. This means the decision will be made in mid-July.”
On the competitions’ format: “With the current system, the teams that qualify for the Final Four, they deserve it. Take a look at what Zalgiris Kaunas did last year, what Efes has done this season. The teams show they want to improve every year and also proves their commitment to the league is big.”
On the long-term plans of the EuroLeague: “The league is very demanding for the clubs. It is a very competitive league.
Our goal will be to create a pyramid system, where the teams will qualify to the EuroCup and from there to the EuroLeague. The plan is for two teams from the EuroCup and 16 long-term contracts.
We will fully implement this system in 2-3 seasons. But, this is not a closed league, the target is for the teams to qualify via the EuroCup.”