EuroLeague shareholders meet on Wednesday in Barcelona

2022-05-23T17:19:29+00:00 2022-05-23T20:51:18+00:00.

Aris Barkas

23/May/22 17:19

The EuroLeague season is over, but the future of the league is still in question and the first big answers will be known after this Wednesday

By Aris Barkas/

Most of the EuroLeague GMs were present in the EuroLeague Final four and even some key figures from the League’s past were in the city, like modern’s Russian basketball pioneer executive and former head of CSKA Moscow Sergey Kushchenko.

Τhe first “true” Final Four after two long years included also for the first time so many questions about the future of the league, that were posed to CEO Jordi Bertomeu during his meeting with selected media.

Most of those questions and probably the biggest, who will manage the EuroLeague from next season, it’s very probable to be answered in two days in Barcelona.

The 11 clubs-shareholders are meeting to practically decide which will be the future of the league and who will be the new CEO.

Why 11 clubs are voting and not 13, including ASVEL and Bayern, you ask? Simply because the process of those two clubs getting shares and voting rights has not concluded yet. It might be a mere formality although it has been almost a year since their new status was confirmed. What is clear is that only the previous 11 shareholders will vote, keeping the power balance as it has been over the last months.

And it seems totally certain that Jordi Bertomeu will be informed officially that his tenure as the EuroLeague CEO is over, even if he has two of the biggest brands in sports, Real Madrid and Barcelona, still supporting him.

Who will replace him? That’s totally unclear and a scenario in which even if someone is named CEO will not have the full power of Jordi Bertomeu seems more likely. So you may end up having a CEO with directors under him doing the heavy lifting and also having power.

One of the first names mentioned as a possible replacement for Jordi Bertomeu was former IMG executive Xavier Bidault, who has left the company and recently created his own consulting firm. Bidault who has also worked for the NBA had a big imprint in the joint venture between EuroLeague and IMG, but he is not expected to get involved with EuroLeague management at this point.

The hottest name right now is none other than Dejan Bodiroga (in the photo together with Jordi Bertomeu back in 2011). The reports are well known by now and Bodiroga has demonstrated his interest in a position in the EuroLeague management, even this of the CEO.

Also, the names of prominent club executives were – and maybe still are – on the table. It started back in October with Zalgiris‘ Paulius Motiejunas and Bayern’s Marco Pesic and now even Fenerbahce‘s Maurizio Gherardini was rumored to be a choice.

However, it’s obvious that a club executive can’t easily be the CEO, but he can be – let’s say – a director of a specific area in which he is an expert, for example, Olympiacos‘ Nikos Lepeniotis who has a background in marketing.

Nothing seems yet set in stone and the fact that there’s voting involved further complicates things. On the other hand, the joint venture between the EuroLeague and IMG will not change at all.

That means that there are contracts with very specific clauses in place until the summer of 2026 and that’s why on the business side of the league it’s very hard for things to change. And while the clubs want more money, they still get the most they ever had with IMG being interested in extending the joint venture beyond 2026.