Swedish Basketball has been rocked by the news that 08 Stockholm and Stockholm Eagles will not participate in the league next season. The Swedish Basketball Association made the decision last night and it immediately drew the anger of the two clubs while also drawing gasps of shock from basketball fans all around the country.
The Federation released a statement addressing why both franchises would be absent from the 2013-2014 season. Regarding the Eagles the statement reads:
“Stockholm Eagles have outstanding debts to another member association and district associations, which is in contravention of the Competition rules.
Furthermore, the Stockholm Eagles have not followed the correct procedure in connection with applications for work and residence permits for non-EU players. “
Stockholm Eagles entered the league after winning the “Basketball Ettan” last year (2nd highest level in Sweden). While many new teams tread a rocky road during their first campaign, the Eagles’ season has been positively disastrous. Firstly the club fired its head coach after just five games and in January four players and the new head coach departed the team.
The Eagles have responded angrily to the news that they have been expelled from next season by the Swedish Basketball Federation. Speaking to Sportbladet, Eagles president Goran Popov said the franchise would sue Swedish Basketball, when asked if he had grounds for a lawsuit, Popov responded.
Yes. We are the only club who have not had a match live on TV. All clubs have paid 70,000 dollars to get this. We were treated differently and this is just one of many the things that happened.
Popov also reacted angrily to the insinuation that the club has debt.
That’s bullshit. We have a debt to Malbas of SEK 17,000 and have been thrown out for this? It is ridiculous. There are no grounds for this. Swedish basketball is controlled by two people and no one dares to speak against them. From the first day, they hated us.
The Swedish Basketball Federation also highlighted why 08 Stockholm would not be taking part in next season’s competition.
“08 Stockholm HR has still not submitted the complete documents in accordance with the requirements of the competition rules that apply. Moreover both the finances of the club and the organization are too weak to continue at the highest level in Sweden.”
08 Stockholm has taken the news with more respect than their city neighbours, but nevertheless the franchise believes the Federation has shown a lack of respect, and President Jonas Morin said he was annoyed by the way Swedish Basketball handled the situation.
I’ll buy that they go through everything and look over these things. But I cannot buy that they leak the news before I talked to them. It is bad, there is no respect, he said.
For us, this year has been a grieving process. Our focus has been to honour Anders Carlberg’s (club founder) memory, all the rest is irrelevant. I am surprised about all this. Our financial situation is in balance and we have lots of stuff going on.
Morin also confirmed that 08 Stockholm would now drop a league and try to find its way back to the Swedish top flight.
We must step down and get on it, like others have done before. We would of course try to get back up again.