By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtus Bologna and Partizan NIS Belgrade have openly said that they were hoping to be included in next season’s Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. That’s not the case, but as EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu explained, there was no other alternative after canceling the season.
When asked if those teams were the biggest losers of today’s decision, Bertomeu presented his position: “I don’t see that one team lost more than another. We are all losers this season. The Euroleague is an organization that lost a lot by canceling the season, and I think that also applies to clubs that have the ambition to be Euroleague champions”.
Speaking about those specific clubs, Bertomeu added: “All our clubs have invested a lot in the roster, and they can feel frustrated because they cannot finish the season. I understand that it will be the same feeling in the teams you mentioned, but I am convinced that they understand why we made this decision. They made a great effort, entered the final phase of the Eurocup, but unfortunately, we will not finish the season. For the same reason that we do not have a champion in the Euroleague, we do not have a champion in the Eurocup either. I am sure that they will have the ambition to play in the Euroleague in the future. I understand their frustration, we all feel frustrated, but neither team loses more than the other. We are all losing”.
Speaking about the decision to keep the same 18 clubs in the EuroLeague for next season, despite having three wildcards which could be used otherwise, Bertomeu underlined the importance of consistency: “We had to show consistency. I understand the clubs that want to be part of the Euroleague, that is a legitimate wish, but unfortunately, we are in the circumstances that everyone has to understand how exceptional this situation is. That is why one year there will be no promotions and relegations and we will not have a champion”.