By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
The EuroLeague shareholders want the season to finish, but they also admit that for this to happen – if it can happen – there will probably be games beyond May and also the changing of the competition format is more than possible.
It goes without saying, that it this point there’s no way for the season to resume on the 11th of April, as the EuroLeague had initially announced.
The conference call that lasted four hours didn’t produce any solid dates about when the season may resume, however, the will to not have a canceled season was reconfirmed.
According to the press release:
-The competitions will resume once the situation allows there to be optimal health and safety conditions for all participants, following the recommendations of the relevant health authorities and local governments.
-Prioritizing the finish of the 2019-20 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season with its existing format, meaning playing the remaining Regular Season, Playoffs and Final Four phases. This would most probably imply ending beyond the originally scheduled May dates, with game frequency potentially being condensed, if necessary. The same priority will be applied to the 2019-20 7DAYS EuroCup season.
-Continuing to analyze potential alternative competition systems that could be activated only if the situation would so require.
-Common policies and principles to be proposed to the EuroLeague Players Association and the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board, which include, amongst others: the potential return of players and head coaches to their home cities, and; players and head coaches’ commitments, including adjusted salary payments during the competitions suspensions.
-Making the 2019-20 Financial Stability & Fair Play Regulations more flexible until there is more certainty on the future evolution of the financial situation.
-The importance for all stakeholders (league, clubs, players, coaches, referees, ambassadors) to acknowledge their responsibility as points of reference and/or as sources of inspiration for many, to contribute in a coordinated manner to help combat COVID-19 in every way possible. This may be by raising awareness of how everyone can contribute to mitigate the spread of the virus, by staying as close as possible to those communities in need, or by simply providing those confined at home with some entertaining content around their biggest passion, basketball. The #EUROLEAGUEUNITED campaign will aggregate and expand the efforts already made by all stakeholders to support ongoing global campaigns, including #IStayHome or #InThisTogether.
The conclusions of the meeting were subsequently shared with all remaining 2019-20 EuroLeague and EuroCup clubs.
It remains to be seen how things will play out in the end, but without the Olympics games and the pre-Olympic tournaments in the calendar, there might be hope for the season to finish properly. And that will mean a really long EuroLeague summer.