By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
European clubs showed a strong interest in FIBA’s Basketball Champions League project during the meeting of the competition’s stakeholders in Munich on Monday.
Fifty three (53) clubs from 16 different countries were represented and attended the meeting with FIBA, its European national federations and European domestic leagues to be informed about key issues on governance, finances and competition matters, as prepared by the working groups between leagues and federations.
Club representatives participated actively in the debates and offered valuable feedback, which helped clarify different aspects of the project. Clubs also expressed a willingness to participate directly and invest in some aspects related to the commercialisation of the Basketball Champions League and suggested the creation of an appropriate body with club representation to do so.
FIBA and the working group on governance will now analyse and integrate the comments received into the regulations for the Basketball Champions League.
In the days leading up to Monday’s meeting, the Basketball Champions League received overwhelming support from the leagues of Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Lithuania and Poland. These were added to previous endorsements of the competition by the leagues of France, Italy and Turkey. All involved National Federations also reaffirmed their endorsement of the Basketball Champions League.
FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann, who presided over proceedings together with Mr Alain Beral, President of the French Basketball League, and Mr Cyriel Coomans, FIBA Europe Vice-President, said: “There is no doubt in our mind that the Basketball Champions League will be a reality in October 2016 and a premium basketball event in Europe. We, as FIBA, will offer a solid and long-term support for clubs and leagues to achieve this. Today’s meeting was another step allowing all stakeholders to jointly shape a bright new horizon for European basketball. I thank the leagues and federations for the work done, which today allowed us to present to the clubs a coherent and visionary project. The strong interest and detailed feedback we received from them is very encouraging and helps us improve various elements of the project.”
The next steps on the road to launching the competition include the creation of a legal entity and the election of the Board of Directors at the beginning of March.
The official launch of the Basketball Champions League is scheduled for 21 March in Paris, France.