By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost one month ago, when the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague was trying to figure out how the season was going to end, the pessimism was obvious. No matter what was said in public, the growing notion around the clubs and even inside the league administration was that the summer was lost.
On the other hand, it was stressed that nobody could predict the future, and finally, there’s constrained optimism that on the 24th of May a proper end of 2019-20 with real games on the court will be announced.
EuroLeague is monitoring the situation around Europe and the news about the Bundesliga returning to action next week was the first good sign. Even if football is an outdoor sport, having a major professional league returning to action under a safety protocol during the COVID-19 pandemic is music to the ears of everyone involved in professional sports.
Meanwhile, the German BBL is also preparing for a 10-club return to action and Israel after many back and forths announced today their own end of the season tournament, which has the approval of local authorities.
So far, four of the ten top domestic Leagues in Europe have canceled their season. While VTB United League, Lithuania, Italy, and Greece have decided that their seasons are over, Germany and Israel are on the opposite side of the spectrum. France still hopes to resume play even in September, Turkey and ABA Liga are not excluding anything and Spain has also presented their plan for a 12-team tournament to end their season.
We are still far away from actual games and a lot of things can happen until a basketball is bouncing again.
First of all, the dates of the Israeli and the Spanish plan coincide with the EuroLeague so some of the top clubs in Europe might be forced to pick in which competition they will play. The contests will be played behind closed doors, players might not return to their teams for a variety of reasons and there will be many contract disputes. That’s bound to happen, even in the case of the EuroLeague, despite the deal between the organization and ELPA, which is a handshake deal and doesn’t really have legal value.
However, with the Serbian authorities opening their door to the competition, there’s even a potential host that already fulfills the EuroLeague’s demands. And as Krunoslav Simon rightfully said there’s no question about the financial motivation of the EuroLeague and its clubs to finish their season on the court, due to their deals with sponsors and television right holders.