The act of throwing yourself down a.k.a. libels and behind the scenes stuff

Between a rock and a hard place

Between a rock and a hard place

By Aris Barkas, Niki Bakouli/ barkas@eurohoops.net, bakouli@eurohoops.net

Simone Pianigiani decided to leave Siena in the summer in order to build a winning team in Istanbul for Fenerbahce/ Ulker. That was the plan, but it didn’t work. Fenerbahce just managed to qualify to Euroleague’s Top16 and started the second phase of the competition with a 0-4 record.

Pianigiani’s team can’t live up on the court to the big expectations of the front office, doesn’t produce attractive basketball and the match of the Italian coach with the Turkish club is clearly not made in heaven. The fans want him removed and that possibility can’t be excluded. However, the 2+1 years contract of Pianigiani is a big obstacle in such a decision, since he has to be paid handsomely in order to leave and also it’s a risk to sack without having found a replacement in the middle of Euroleague’s Top16. On the money issue, according to his contract Pianigiani at this point has to be paid 4 million US dollars in case of a premature termination. As Eurohoops learned, the team was willing to compensate him by instalments, but he wants his first payment to be one million US dollars.

According to Eurohoops sources all around Europe, Fener during the last days contacted at least three coaches, but none of them was ready to take over the team under the conditions that were proposed. So, until further notice, Pianigiani stays on the bench of the team.