Panathinaikos must leave the EuroLeague and go to FIBA [Basketball Champions League).
Whoa! Shots fired!
Will other teams follow suit?
That statement was made Tuesday by the 38-time Greek league and six-time EuroLeague champion Panathinaikos BC’s owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos. It was part of his announcement that he is putting the team up for sale for 25 million euros ($29 million).
Through the years, Giannakopoulos, who took over control of the club from his father and uncle in 2012, has been critical of the EuroLeague’s administration and structure. As a result, the league has fined him on multiple occasions.
My family has put into the team more than 450 million euros, and we have brought top players and coaches. I’m tired of being the only person who gives money to the club
But wait, there’s more!
With the price of 25 million euros, someone buys the most successful club in Europe, a team that will go to an event that can make the sport profitable and that is why I believe if we go to FIBA (Basketball Champions League) we will not need such a disbursement
As long as we are in the EuroLeague, the income is very limited, and the need for funding is great
Will this be the tipping point for Europe’s top teams to jump ship from the EuroLeague and join the FIBA owned and operated Basketball Champions League with its very favorable joint-ownership and revenue sharing structure for the leagues and teams involved?
If the buyer of Panathinaikos does leave the EL for the BCL I do believe that it will lead to an exodus of teams. It might eventually result in some sort of merger between the two leagues, similar to the NBA-ABA merger in 1976. That could finally unite European professional basketball under one roof.
This needs to happen sooner rather than later. There is too much division, splintered interests, and confusion at the top level of European professional basketball.
Got $29 million burning a hole in your pocket?
If so, one of Europe’s most traditionally rich and successful teams could be yours!
Rick Pitino, call me! We can go 99.99/00.01 on it. I will run the day-to-day.
We shall see how it all plays out.