Euroleague Basketball announced that it reached an agreement with the EuroLeague Players Association (ELPA) for the 2019-20 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague calendar.
Both organizations agreed to introduce changes requested by the ELPA that aim at improving players conditions to conduct their professional activity at the highest level:
- Regular Season Round 1 will take place one week earlier than usual, on October 3 and 4, 2019. Regular Season Round 34 will take place on April 9 and 10, 2020.
- The Playoffs will take place one week later than usual, between April 21 and May 6, 2020.
- The Final Four will take place one week later than usual, from May 21 to 24, 2020. These three changes will reduce the number of double-round weeks from nine to seven.
- During two EuroLeague Regular Season double-round weeks, all teams will play in one home-home and in the other away-away. Euroleague Basketball and the ELPA will analyze this calendar distribution at the end of the 2019-20 season. The other five double-round weeks will see teams playing home-away or away-home as has been occurring since the current EuroLeague Regular Season format was established in 2016-17.
Euroleague Basketball and the ELPA will continue their discussions on a broad number of topics with the objective of reaching a collective bargaining agreement that regulates the relationship between the league, the clubs and the players. The following topics are being analyzed by Euroleague Basketball and its clubs following proposals from the ELPA:
- Improving the process for overdue salary payment disputes in order to increase security and minimize risk for players who find themselves in this situation.
- Regulating training camp and in-season practice load, ensuring adequate rest and recovery periods.
- Regulating player travel conditions.
- Improving the process for neutral second medical opinion services that were put in place October 2018.
The proposals have been shared with the clubs at the latest ECA Shareholders Executive Board meeting in Milan, Italy.
"The relationship with the recently created EuroLeague Players Association has been very positive so far. Our clubs are confident that the ELPA proposals will lead to more stability and business security for the league, clubs and players. We look forward to continue working with the players to grow the EuroLeague collectively,” Eduard J. Scott, Chief Operations Officer at Euroleague Basketball, said. “We maintain regular conversations and meetings in order to reach a consensus that increases the quality of our games, the conditions for our players, and therefore the attractiveness of the EuroLeague for our fans."
"At ELPA we are very content that on our initiative, Euroleague Basketball is implementing these important changes, which will lower players workload, lower the number of possible injuries, and increase the recovery time between games," Bostjan Nachbar, ELPA Managing Director, said. "We are positive that additional improvements, which we are still finalizing and should be included in EuroLeague Bylaws this summer, will bring a very encouraging change of conditions for players within the league."