ECA Shareholders Meeting sets new season and future plans

Jul 09, 2014 by Print
Shareholders meeting in Barcelona, 2014

The Euroleague Commercial Assets Shareholders Meeting, held on Wednesday in Barcelona, ushered in a new season by approving the teams that will play in the 2014-15 Turkish Airlines Euroleague and a new era by agreeing to begin work on a roadmap toward a comprehensive model for European club competitions in the future.

Euroleague Basketball's proposal, previously approved by the ECA Board and shared with clubs, domestic leagues and other stakeholders over the previous months, envisions a pyramid model for European competitions that would better ensure the continued growth and stability of the organization's competitions while offering clubs a clear route to their individual and collective development.

The ultimate vision for the competition model would mirror the time-honored European sports structure of promotion and relegation in a hierarchy that moves from domestic leagues through the Eurocup to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. The model respects a European sports culture that values competitive results first even as it shows a clear path to the elite for clubs wishing to invest in long-term projects and gives stability to those who have already achieved that status.

The proposals call for a transition period to be spent working with domestic leagues, clubs and other stakeholders to refine the model so that it promotes fair competition and healthy clubs through long-range sustainability with the ultimate goal of attracting more fans to the sport.

The shareholders endorsed a transition period in which the current formula of changing access to the Euroleague will be replaced by fixed spots for domestic leagues qualifiers. There will be changes in the current club licencing rules limit A licences from any one country to three. B licences will be fixed at two for the Adriatic League and one each for France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain and Turkey. One wild card per season will be granted and the Eurocup champion will continue to receive a one year C licence. At the end of the 2014-15 season, existing A Licence clubs will be reviewed and all those that continue to meet the same criteria used in summer 2009 to allocate the licences will be automatically renewed, taking into account the new per-country limitation of three teams.

During the transition period, the shareholders charged Euroleague Basketball with seeking agreement with domestic leagues to homogenize basketball rules, calendars, player eligibility and financial fair play, amongst others.

A commitment was made to consolidate the Eurocup competition sytem for several seasons.

The approvals came after the shareholders heard reviews of the across-the-board growth of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague audience in everything from in-arena fans to television to social media, including record attendance, broadcast, Twitter and Youtube numbers last season. Such audience increases were behind enhanced business opportunities such as a new television partner, Digiturk of Turkey, and new sponsor agreements entering in force in 2015-16.

2015 + Licensing Rules

B Licence Distribution (pending ECA - Domestic League agreement)

Adriatic League 2
France 1
Germany 1
Italy 1
Poland 1
Russian Federation 1
Spain 1
Turkey 1
Wild Card 1

C Licence Distribution - Eurocup Champion