ALBA’s spot in next season’s EuroLeague is not a lock

2024-04-01T13:43:02+00:00 2024-04-01T21:03:00+00:00.

Aris Barkas

01/Apr/24 13:43

With no imminent expansion in the cards and no signed deal in place, ALBA Berlin may end up playing in the EuroCup next season

By Aris Barkas/

ALBA Berlin has been the poster child for fiscal responsibility and the next team on the line for a EuroLeague A license. However, three years after the initial decision to put the club on the fast track for an A license, things have changed and nothing is the same.

Since then, the EuroLeague had two management changes, Dubai knocking on the door, the Russian clubs remain out of the competition, while Paris and maybe London in the future are hoping to enter the fold.

That’s why, with Paris Basket remaining the favorite to win the EuroCup and enter the EuroLeague next season, ALBA’s spot is not considered a given anymore.

To be exact, ALBA was hoping to have already an A license in place, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case. On the contrary, other clubs/shareholders, considering the club’s performance on the court, believe that while their management model is sustainable, it’s also a dead-end with the club being happy just to be part of the EuroLeague without losing money and having no higher ambitions.

The initial deal with ALBA was a two-year license from 2021 until 2023, which is usually followed by an A license. This time around things are different and ALBA had a one-year wildcard for 2023-24 which practically gives no guarantees for the future.

With a team from the EuroCup expected to enter the EuroLeague – considering that Monaco will keep one of the two EuroCup licenses by making it to the playoffs – then one of the current clubs with wildcards will have to go.

Those clubs are Virtus Bologna, Partizan, Crvena Zvezda, Valencia, and ALBA, which until recently was considered practically a long-term license holder. This has changed and nothing is set in stone for next season.

To be exact, it seems that there’s one spot for two suitors, ALBA and Valencia. The Spanish team is preparing itself for a season in the EuroCup, however, the situation was pretty much the same for them last season until Gran Canaria ultimately decided to stay in the EuroCup.

Of course, if either Valencia or ALBA end up playing in the EuroCup, they automatically become contenders for the trophy and candidates to return to the EuroLeague for the 2025-26 season.

Photo credit: EuroLeague