As everything in Greece, the reasons which lead Greek League (HEBA) to postpone its jump ball for one week, were… complicated and with its roots to the past. To make a not so simple story, easier for your… eyes (and your
brain!), keep in mind that OPAP (HEBA’s mega and name sponsor) gives to each of the 12 teams (Olympiacos and Panathinaikos have their own deals) around 225.000 euros for each season. Of course there are criteria (their place on the final standings, commercial power etc)
which decide the percentage of each team from the total amount of money. This is what it’s going on at least the last 5 years. The other main income (and for many teams the only one) comes from the TV rights and again for the 12 teams is an amount around 200.000 euros, per season.
About Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, while all the others are trying to get a collective deal, they are using the right they have by law to have their own negotiations and contracts. And last year, they sign a 3-year contract with a sports marketing company to have on their behalf the negotiations, for their rights. So, after the company got for them deals with OPAP and for TV rights, they knew exactly what they will get till the summer of 2014, since the company signed to
give them the money they agreed on, no matter what. To have an idea, they are getting around +1.000.000 euros from OPAP and +1.000.000 euros from TV rights.
The odd element that the 12 teams had also the right to sign for 3-year contracts on the summer of 2011, but they gave up that right cause they thought they can get better deals and they chose to sign an one-year contract.
And here is what happened this year: one month ago, ERT made an offer for this season’s TV rights and it was around 3.400.000 euros for the 14 teams! In case you wonder, ERT knew Olympiacos and Panathinaikos have their deals done via the sports company which negotiates for their rights, but didn’t care. And it was up to HEBA’s teams to find the solution, with ERT suggesting to split the amount on 60% for Panathinaikos and Olympiacos and 40% for all the others.
On their first meeting, last week, they refuse to get around 130.000 euros (each club) and they demanded for more, after the government decide to solve a similar problem the Greek football league was dealing with, by ruling OPAP to give an extra 5.000.000 euros. But OPAP wasn’t the case for HEBA. ERT was. But ERT made clear they won’t give a cent more and it was up to the 14 clubs to agree on… something.
Few days ago, they had a Board, where the “12″ asked from Olympiacos and Panathinaikos to cut something from their own incomes, so the others could be… happy. Both of them remind that they had a signed contract with a company (from where they get their money after all) and after they were talking for around 3 hours, they started to think the obvious: if the season wouldn’t start, they wouldn’t be able to get their first check from OPAP’s deal (something was clear in their
contract) and many of them wouldn’t be able to survive.
So, they vote for the season to start and to try to find a solution for their TV rights in the next 15 days (the most possible one is for Olympiacos and Panathinaikos to accept split the money in 50-50).