F4 coverage: Bertomeu dismisses Panathinaikos’ complaints, talks about Euroleague future

In the meeting of Euroleague officials with the reporters covering the tournament, its CEO Jordi Bertomeu dismissed Panathinaikos’ complaints regarding the refereeing of their game against CSKA.

“I respect the Giannakopoulos family, but I think their complaints are unsubstantiated. After what’s has been written I won’t be visiting Athens any soon, as I could be wanted there” joked Bertomeu.

Commenting on Thanasis Giannakopoulos criticism of Costas Rigas, the Euroleague Basketball Referees Director, Bertomeu offered him support saying he is a crucial component of the organisation who has offered a lot.

“Invoking referees is a convenient excuse for those who lose. I know that everybody makes mistakes, the payers do mistakes, the coaches do mistakes and I do even more mistakes. Don’t forget that the refereeing is under the authority of FIBA” continued Bertomeu.

The competition CEO also talked about a number of other issues:

Regarding Turkish Airlines: “We thank Turkish Airlines for their big help in the past two seasons, they have helped this project a lot with a lot of social activities.”

Regarding technology: “We don’t rule out allowing the referees to use more technology to limit any errors.”

Regarding tickets: “We won’t change the tickets distribution system for security reasons. We just don’t want to take the risk. Also this way no one loses their money. Last year Olympiacos fans could sell their tickets to Maccabi TA fans.”

Regarding London Final Four: “We want to give Great Britain another chance in Euroleague, after London Towers. It’s a market we haven’t fully taken advantage of and we need such stable markets, like Russia and Germany. We plan to develop basketball there. It won’t get done overnight but we will get there.”

Regarding the matchdays: “All teams will play at the new matchdays (Thursday and mainly Friday).”

Regarding the wildcard: “All the teams have voted in October to have the last say themselves and they (the clubs) will vote to award the wildcard to a team that fulfills our criteria. And I don’t mean an English team.”

Regarding Financial Fair Play: “We have a three year plan to establish financial stability. We can’t let teams who don’t pay their players be part of the competition. The league is a comprehensive business and our target is to be 100% ready in 5 years to have all the financial data of all teams. We can’t help the teams, they can only help themselves. We can only offer them a stable infrastructure to operate in.”