The body, which organizes both the Euroleague and Eurocup has been locked in a stalemate with FIBA Europe over the creation of a Basketball Champions League. FIBA has proposed the additional competition as the elite European tournament, which would effectively replace the Euroleague. However, major clubs in Europe have backed the ULEB run Euroleague, staying loyal to the format and incurring the wrath of FIBA.
In response the governing body has ordered national federations to punish clubs and the ones who will not have been banned from international tournaments like the 2016 European Championships.
The new proposal from Euroleague Basketball moves to stabilize the relations between the continent’s two major organizations.
The main points proposed by Euroleague Basketball were:
1. Definition of a collaboration agreement that establishes a stable, long-term framework in which mutual confidence plays a central role in execution.
2. Elimination of any sanctions on clubs and national teams, respecting both the freedom of clubs to decide their future as well as the national teams’ participation in competitions for which they have qualified, and the modification of those rules and regulations that currently allow such sanctions to be imposed.
3. Integration of FIBA and Euroleague Basketball through new governance and competition structures:
FIBA to become involved in the Euroleague Basketball organization
– Euroleague Basketball will continue to manage the first tier of European club competitions, currently featuring 40 clubs. The FIBA Basketball Champions League Board will manage the second tier of European club competitions
– Applying vertical access from bottom to top in European competitions through a promotion system for each competition’s respective champion, studying an increase in the access from one competition to another
– Agreement on competition calendars in four-year cycles while accepting to study the inclusion of national team windows as per the FIBA 2017 project
FIBA to solely manage basketball rules, international transfers, doping control regulations and execution
4. Definition of new common standards for the participation of players in national team competitions:
– Minimum insurance policy standards to be applied consistently for all clubs
– Agreed compensation to clubs for their contributions to national team competitions following the model of other professional sports
Highlighting the support that Euroleague Basketball has received from important clubs, the organization said that the proposal was drafted in agreement with “the principal professional basketball clubs”. The governing body says it is seeking collaboration with FIBA to resolve the hostilities, while it is unclear at this point how FIBA will respond.
The ULEB is effectively proposing that FIBA control the third tier of European Basketball and below, while also seeking to ensure clubs have power in deciding where they play. Considering much of FIBA’s recent aggression has come from the governing body wanting more control, the organization accepting these proposals seems unlikely.