Credit: ZUMAPRESS – Scanpix
Credit ZUMAPRESS – Scanpix

Desires and rumors are one, but the reality is quite different. Regardless of the fact that some clubs would like the Euroleague to expand to at least 20 participants compared to the current 18, in order for them to obtain a long-term license, the best European club competition does not have such plans for now.

"The existing number of clubs is appropriate, taking into account many circumstances. We must also take into account the calendar because, with the increase in participants, the number of games would also increase, which could cause tensions for some shareholders.

At the moment we need a number of clubs that meet our criteria. Things may change in the future, but in the coming season (2022-23), they will remain as they are", EuroLeague executive director Jordi Bertomeu told Mozzart Sport.

"In order to be more popular, we must have more funds, and in order to do that, we must go to bigger markets, and these are Germany and France. To develop our competition, we have to go to Central Europe and invest in markets where the fan base can increase significantly.

For example, in France, it is higher by 55 percent or in Germany by 48 percent. These figures are staggering. The fan base in the ABA League region has never been questioned. Our focus is on countries that will allow us to grow, such as Germany and France, but also Italy, where there is some potential. It is our obligation to have an increasing number of fans from year to year," Bertomeu added.

Nowadays, information spreads incredibly fast. But unlike the NBA, where player's salaries are made public, the EuroLeague is not keen to reveal any numbers. The Catalan executive thinks that "we have to go step by step. We just had negotiations with the Players' Union. In that process we work together, we try to improve the conditions for players, to have guarantees. There are many new rules that have been introduced in European basketball, thanks to our agreements.

But when we talk about the official announcement of salaries, we must not forget that the NBA did it only after 40 years, and we are just at the beginning of the conversation. We will need some time to get to that point."

For the time being, the EuroLeague has defined the minimum budget of clubs for each season, but there is no salary cap. Bertomeu says that the minimum budget available "should allow clubs to reach and provide a standard required by a competition such as the EuroLeague."

The EuroLeague CEO also believes that four continental competitions is quite a lot for
European club basketball, at least from an economic point of view.

"The EuroLeague is of the highest quality, the EuroCup is the second competition, the Champions League is doing a good job, but there is also a fourth competition (FIBA Euro Cup). If it doesn't make economic sense (for clubs), that should be taken into account. This is a question that should be addressed to FIBA ​​and the clubs that participate in those competitions."

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