By Aris Barkas/ barkas@Eurohoops.net
A meeting that can be pivotal for the long-term EuroLeague plans will be held today in Barcelona. The 13 clubs-shareholders of the EuroLeague – which are expected soon to be 14 with the includion of ALBA – are expected to have a long discussion with no specific agenda about the future of the league.
This comes after Monday’s meeting in which the clubs met with CEO Jordi Bertomeu and talked about the current state of the EuroLeague. Bertomeu is no longer a member of the board and that’s why he will not be present in today’s meeting. And it’s not the first time in the recent months that this happened.
However, there might be more to that. Τhe clubs are raising concerns about the financial situation of the post-COVID era with Maccabi Tel Aviv leading the wave of discontent and Milan also being quite vocal. The EuroLeague needs to chart a pathway for the future that will be satisfying to all 13 shareholders.
There’s an ongoing discussion not only about revenues but for the way clubs are spending money. Some of them wanting to keep the current financial fairplay rules having the flexibility to spend more money than their basketball income revenues, while others pushing for a more fiscally responsible model with expenses almost totally tied to the revenues.
It’s obvious that most clubs want the second option. However for this to happen, the revenues must be much higher than they currently are. It has to be noted that in this environment, it also remains unclear how the deal with ELPA and the EuroLeague will be implemented after the demand of the biggest agents in Europe to have a renegotiation.
The questions are many and so far the answers are few. The clubs want a stronger EuroLeague that will evolve even further but the issue is how this can turn from wishful thinking to reality.
There are many approaches to how this can happen, there are opposing views from the 13 clubs and the clock is ticking for the joint venture with IMG with current contracts expiring in 2026. While there’s an renewal option for another decade, everything is on the table at this point.
That’s why it’s pretty hard to predict if there will be answers today or even hints about the direction that the league will be taking.
And while the issue of a change in leadership is not officially raised in any meeting so far, there are already names which are presented by various clubs as possible heirs to Jordi Bertomeu. To be more specific Zalgiris GM Paulius Motiejunas and Bayern GM Marko Pesic have been mentioned by various sources as possible candidates.
Οf course, there’s an obvious counterargument for any club GM to get promoted to EuroLeague CEO and the fact that all 13 clubs must find a consensus, make the process of any big change a long one.