By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
A new era started for EuroLeague in Munich with the clubs deciding to bring back three wildcards from the 2020-21 season plus much stricter financial rules.
The allocation criteria for the non-quaranteed spots have changed and there’s no direct connection to any domestic league anymore with ABA League having the priority for one of the three wildcards.
Per EuroLeague: ECA Shareholders met on Thursday, July 11 in Munich, Germany to review the progress of the competitions and to agree on key topics for its future.
The meeting was opened by Euroleague Basketball’s President & CEO, Jordi Bertomeu, with the announcement of the club elected 2018-19 Gianluigi Porelli EuroLeague Executive of the Year, Paulius Motiejunas, President of Zalgiris Kaunas, who received the award for the second consecutive time.
Uli Hoeness, President of FC Bayern Munich then welcomed the ECA Shareholders to his club’s hometown.
“It is a pleasure and an honor to have the EuroLeague clubs for the first time in Munich today. It is incredible to be part of the EL board meeting,” Mr. Hoeness said. “We are traditionally a football team, but as you well know, since eight years ago, we are also a basketball club and that has quickly become a big part of our identity. After the mandate of our club members in 2010 to create a professional and ambitious basketball team, this project started to grow, and we have seen a great spike in interest in basketball in Munich and in Germany. But at Bayern Munich, we always have the ambition to evolve, and a clear example of our upcoming projects is the new arena. We want our fans to enjoy basketball – that’s our goal.”
The meeting continued with Euroleague Basketball executives providing the club and domestic league representatives with an update on the main performance indicators, which yet again showed impressive growth, led by a remarkable rise in the digital audience, which more than doubled compared to 2017-18.
- Heard the officiating department report, including communication and transparency protocols; the proposed number of referees on the Euroleague Basketball list; education and evaluation programs; as well as the instant replay system.
- Agreed on important improved working conditions for 2019-20 proposed by the different stakeholders’ unions:
- Euroleague Players Association (ELPA): approved proposals for the 2019-20 season calendar, neutral second medical opinion, overdue payments, practices, training camp conditions, and travel.
- EuroLeague Head Coaches Board (ELHCB): approved proposals on overdue payments, death, and total permanent disability liquidation payments, as well as the introduction of a new Euroleague Basketball dispute resolution chamber.
- Union of Euroleague Basketball Officials (UEBO): ratifies the final proposal from Euroleague Basketball to UEBO.
- Approved the companies’ 2018-19 closing accounts and the 2019-20 budgets, as well as the new clubs’ economic distribution amounts and criteria for the upcoming season, which increases over 16% compared to 2018-19.
- Approved proposed changes in the competition Bylaws, including game rule changes as proposed by the ECA Shareholders Executive Board.
- Approved new Financial Stability Fair Play Regulations, including increased transparency mechanisms; improved club budgets valuation criteria; further progressive reduction in the maximum shareholders’ contribution allowed, reaching 40% in the 2022-23 season; and revised sanctions structure.
- Approved the implementation of an In-Arena Code of Conduct starting October 2019, applicable to all individuals in any given EuroLeague and EuroCup arena, to ensure a fun, welcoming, safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.
- Approved the proposed 2019-20 team lists for the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup.
ECA Shareholders also approved new EuroLeague Club Licensing Rules to be in force starting with the 2020-21 season. The new rules aim at providing clubs, independently of their territory of origin, with equal and clear opportunities of accessing the competition and opportunities to remain in it, concretely:
- Allocating two licenses from the EuroCup competition, for the Champion and Runner-Up.
- Substituting Domestic League access by three Associated Annual Wild Cards *.
- Removing the maximum limit of clubs per country.
- Of the two EuroCup clubs qualifying for the EuroLeague season, the one placed the highest in the standings at the end of that next EuroLeague season will remain in competition for the following season if it has reached the Playoffs **.
- Should this happen, access for the following season will be granted only to the EuroCup Champion.
As a result, the eighteen licenses available for 2020-21 will be allocated as follows:
- 11 Licensed Clubs
- 2 Associated Wild Cards (ASVEL Villeurbanne, FC Bayern Munich)
- 2 EuroCup licenses (Champion and Runner-Up)
- 3 Associated Annual Wild Cards*
Additionally, attendees also agreed on maintaining the obligation of clubs to participate in their respective Domestic Leagues to be able to obtain a EuroLeague/EuroCup license, with exceptions only made by the ECA Shareholders Executive Board after the evaluation of a specific situation that may prevent a club from meeting this requirement.
* Adriatic League Champion to have priority for one of the three annual associated club wild cards due to not having either a licensed nor a multi-year associated club.
** This mechanism will be applied to the current EuroCup Champion (Valencia Basket) and EuroCup Runner-Up (ALBA Berlin) at the end of the 2019-20 season.