Βy Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
While Euroleague is preparing for the draw of the 2015-16 season, the assault of FIBA continues. The international basketball federation wants to have its own Euroleague, which will include all the big clubs of the continent.
As “El Mundo Deportivo” reported Real Madrid, Barcelona, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahce/ Ulker, CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Tel Aviv have been invited by FIBA to abandon the Euroleague in order to compete in the new league.
The stakes are higher than ever and it remains to be seen what those teams will do, something clearly related with the money they would get – or not – from FIBA. According to “El Mundo” the current proposal of FIBA promises 50% more money to the clubs for next season, compared to the revenues they will get from Euroleague. However at this moment all those teams are represented in Barcelona, getting ready for the Euroleague draw.
Meanwhile French club ASVEL, owned by French icon Tony Parker, clarified today that it will compete next season in the “new Eurocup” which will be organized by FIBA in the 2015-16. This competition will take the place of Eurochallenge, which until last season was considered the “third rate” competition in Europe. It’s evident that FIBA will push hard in order to regain the control of the European club competitions and according to Eurohoops sources the key in this conflict can be Maccabi Tel Aviv.
There have been many rumors during the season that presented at least Panathinaikos, the Turkish and the Russian clubs – each for their own reasons – ready to change sides and play for the FIBA Euroleague. However, Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team with the biggest television contract in Europe, can be the key player in a possible conflict between the two leagues.
Simply put, many believe that Maccabi in the end will decide the outcome of the “war”. Contrary to other clubs around Europe, the “team of the people” operates a lot like a business and not just as the hobby of wealthy owners. That’s why if Maccabi decides to change sides, many are expected to follow. Maccabi in the 2000-01 season played in FIBA’s Suproleague, beat in the final Panathinaikos and in the summer of 2001 decided to join Euroleague. Suproleague ceased to exist after that as FIBA came into a compromise with Euroleague.