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Euroleague clubs to face 14 per cent revenue cut after season cancellation

The 2019-20 EuroLeague Regular Season Round 28 match between Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz and Alba Berlin (by Aitor Arrizabalaga/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)

Euroleague Basketball has announced that its member clubs will see a 14-per-cent drop in revenue distributions due to the decision to cancel the 2019-20 seasons of its EuroLeague and EuroCup competitions.

The Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) Shareholders Executive Board met remotely yesterday (Monday), with the financial closing of the 2019-20 campaign one of the items on the agenda. Euroleague Basketball last month cancelled the 2019-20 seasons of its two club competitions with president and chief executive Jordi Bertomeu stating the move represented the most difficult decision the organisation had to make in its 20-year history.

The season was suspended on March 12 due to Covid-19 and the Executive Board decided not to award titles for the 2019-20 EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons. At the time, Bertomeu said that while Euroleague was still working on determining the financial impact of cancelling the season, he admitted it would be “significant”.

Euroleague has now announced that economic club distribution will be reduced by 14 per cent compared to the pre-season forecast. This comes despite the organisation’s total revenues being reduced by 30 per cent following the season cancellation.

The amount distributed to EuroLeague and EuroCup clubs corresponds to the complete forecasted market pool and sports pool distribution for the games played until March 12.

In other news, the 10 member clubs on the Executive Board have rejected Panathinaikos’ request to transfer their EuroLeague licence. The Greek club’s owner, Manos Papadopoulos, is seeking to sell the team and exit the EuroLeague, but as a founding member of the ECA, Panathinaikos would be liable to pay compensation of €10m ($11.3m) to exit as a shareholder.

Earlier this month, the other clubs issued a collective statement through which they expressed their continued commitment to the EuroLeague. While they stated their hope that Panathinaikos would remain, they added they would take any action that they deem necessary to protect the reputation and integrity of their collective and individual properties, and to ensure that the club complies in full with every obligation to which it has committed itself as a member.

In its statement yesterday, Euroleague said Panathinaikos’ request to transfer its licence has been turned down due to the fact that no guarantee has been provided by the club that it will fulfil all associated commitments towards the other 10 licensed clubs and Euroleague Basketball.

The 2020-21 EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons are scheduled to start on October 1 and September 30, respectively.