By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a common secret in European basketball that players being behind one or two months in payments is not something unusual. However in some cases, things get out of hand like it happens during this season with Galatasaray, which is constantly losing players due to financial reasons with Carlos Arroyo being the last to leave.
Still financial woes doesn’t mean that a team will also collapse on the court, on the contrary in some cases unpaid players can even perform miracles. Here’s the list of five recent bad financial examples in Euroleague that didn’t necessarily produced mediocrity on the floor.
Marousi: A small suburban club which competes in Euroleague, has a limited fan base and must stretch its financial recourses in order to meet expectations is a recipe for disaster. Marousi collapsed a few years after its Euroleague participation, however during the 2009-2010 season despite a serious delay in players’ payments, they had an impressive run under future Euroleague champion coach Giorgos Bartzokas and reached the Top16.
Partizan: The same season the underdog from Belgrade, despite having simular woes with Marousi – but a much, much bigger fanbase – reached the Final Four. The season started with the bank accounts of the club being blocked and ended up with Partizan beating Maccabi in order to get to the semifinal in which Olympiacos needed overtime in order to prevail.
Cibona: The club of Drazen Petrovic during the last decade can be considered the poster child of teams with glorious past which struggle financially. In the 2010-11 season that affected on the court a team which included also current Net Bojan Bogdanovic whith the players going on strike before the Euroleague game against Siena. The debt of the team at the time was rumored to be 16 millios euros.
Khimki: In the 2012-13 the players of the team also used the strike threat and then captain Vitaly Fridzon went public with the financial problems. Still the strike never happened – only some practices were missed – but Khimki couldn’t do something really noteworthy.
Zalgiris Kaunas: This is a simular situation with Partizan, a team with great tradition, solid present but a tone of financial troubles. Also during the 2012-13 the strike card was used by the players, the local authorities gave a cash injection but even as we speaking, money and debts are still an issue for the club.