By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The VTB United League will keep a guaranteed spot in EuroLeague apart from the one CSKA Moscow holds as an A license club. This was confirmed by VTB General Director Ilona Korstin.
“We aren’t afraid that CSKA will be the only [VTB] team playing in the 2020-2021 EuroLeague,” Korstin told Izvestia. “There is an agreement in principle that the winner of the league (or the finalist if CSKA becomes champion) will receive a wild card for the next season. The new licensing system shouldn’t touch competitions with a level such as ours.”
Until now, the German League champion (since 2019 champion Bayern Munich had already received a two-year license, a spot was granted to runner-up Alba Berlin), VTB League champion (or finalist), ABA League champion and the top-placed ACB team after the A license clubs (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Baskonia) gained access to EuroLeague. The latter changed this season after Valencia punched a 2019-2020 EuroLeague ticket by winning the EuroCup.
According to the new EuroLeague allocating criteria, domestic leagues aren’t automatically connected with EuroLeague in this way anymore. Starting from 2020-2021, there will be two Associated Wild Cards (currently held by ASVEL Villeurbanne and Bayern Munich), two EuroCup licenses (for the champion and finalist), plus three extra Associated Annual Wild Cards.
ABA vice president Domagoj Cavlovic has said they have received guarantees that one of the three annual wild cards will be reserved for one of the league’s teams.
The 2019-2020 EuroLeague will feature three VTB clubs: CSKA (A license), Khimki Moscow (league finalist) and Zenit St. Petersburg (wild card). The latter will participate in the top tier continental competition for the first time in the history of the club.