By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Can EuroLeague act finally as a “real” league despite being based all over Europe and being the subject of different laws and taxation? And can the growth of the league translate to better conditions for the players and the coaches in the future?
That’s one big bet both for the EuroLeague and for the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board. Eurohoops reached the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board executive director Goran Sasic who spoke about the approved changes and what they will practically mean for the EuroLeague coaches in the near future.
– Is the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board content about the fact that its proposals were approved by the EuroLeague clubs?
“I think this is a milestone step in the right direction. So yes, in that sense we are very happy that clubs and Euroleague Basketball understand the need for a framework. This is a step and there is still a lot of work to do but at least there is an overall recognition that we need to work together in order to improve the sport of basketball”.
– What’s next for the coaches? What more they can bring on the EuroLeague table on an institutional level?
“Coaches are a cornerstone to European basketball, and they have a lot to offer to the basketball community on how to, not only improve the game but also on how to bring more members into the family of basketball fans. We have a plan and a series of objectives that go beyond a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), though that at the moment will be our focus. Bear in mind, and this is one of the disadvantages versus other top basketball competitions, we currently deal with up to 10 different countries legislation and tax regulations. So, something that works in Greece may not work in Israel or Germany. We need to standardize the contracts so that we are comparing apples with apples and not apples with oranges”.
– Can you be more specific for the nature of the agreement and especially on the possible dispute’s management? What does it change in the contract and payments framework?
“All the changes we are requesting are also for the benefit of the future coaches. More than changes in the contracts and payment framework it´s institutionalizing the rigor that is required in any other sporting or private company entity. In this particular case, it is to ensure that coaches are being paid and that this payment takes place on the scheduled timing established. But again, it’s not about the past or the current its about future guarantees on a league-wide level. I think if we take it out of the sporting context and take it to the private enterprise anyone would understand that a company´s employees need to be paid. As somebody who is born and raised in Germany, I have been raised under the premises that honest work pays off and that everyone can expect to be paid on time. As every labor, you have rights, obligations, and responsibilities. Our members are fully aware of their obligations and responsibility, so we expect to respect our rights. It’s a give-and-take situation from my standpoint”.
– And what can we expect from the EuroLeague Basketball dispute resolution chamber?
“This agreement gives us the framework to solve our disputes internally and not take them externally. Same as the governance decisions are made inside Euroleague Basketball by their shareholders, we as labor that works in that framework should do the same”.