Euroleague responds to Fiba’s Champions League proposal

Euroleague Basketball, the governing body of continental club competitions in Europe, has maintained that other proposals remain on the table after the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) detailed its plans for a new Champions League competition.

At a meeting held yesterday (Tuesday) Fiba tabled a proposal to create a new Basketball Champions League competition to Europe’s top clubs. Fiba is hoping to launch the new tournament for the start of the 2016-17 season and offered the clubs a “transition plan from Euroleague to (the) Basketball Champions League,” suggesting that the new tournament would replace the established competition.

Euroleague Basketball responded to the proposal in a statement issued today (Wednesday). The organisation has been engaged in a war of words with Fiba over the future direction of club basketball in Europe, but appeared to strike a more conciliatory tone in its latest comments.

The Euroleague clubs delegation consisted of representatives from Fenerbahce Istanbul, Olympiacos Piraeus, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Real Madrid, while Euroleague Basketball was represented in yesterday’s talks by president and chief executive, Jordi Bertomeu, as well as chief operating officer Eduard Scott.

Euroleague Basketball stated a “healthy discussion” was held, adding that clubs share with Fiba a “conviction” to continue the historic growth of the Euroleague competition they have experienced during the 15 years since the creation of Euroleague Basketball.

The Euroleague Basketball delegation will perform due diligence with Fiba’s updated proposal, sharing this with the rest of the A Licence clubs in the near future before providing concrete feedback to the world governing body.

Euroleague Basketball said: “The delegation noted that the clubs through their company Euroleague Basketball, have demonstrated their ability to manage club competitions over the past 15 years with increasingly positive results, gaining credibility in the process. Therefore they explained to Fiba that in order to expand on the growth trend in recent years there are alternative models to the one presented by Fiba. These will also achieve the same objectives of cooperation, unity and increase in the basketball business that the clubs and Fiba both desire.”

Euroleague Basketball and its clubs will finalise the project that they have been working on over recent years and present this to Fiba in the coming weeks.