Euroleague Basketball and the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board (EHCB) joined forces Wednesday in Istanbul, Turkey to publicly announce the agreement reached between the parties to form a resolution body that will help solve disputes when clubs and head coaches choose to terminate contracts between them. The EuroLeague Head Coaches Board is the independent association that represents the collective before Euroleague Basketball and its clubs.
Eduard J. Scott, Euroleague Basketball Chief Operations Officer, Zeljko Obradovic, EuroLeague Head Coaches Board President, and Goran Sasic, EuroLeague Head Coaches Board Executive Director, shared the main principles of the new body with media who attended the joint press conference.
Since the summer of 2017, when a group of EuroLeague owners and representatives met with Euroleague Basketball executives in Chantilly to set the pillars for the organization's strategy, one of the key points was to strengthen and regulate relationships with the league's principal stakeholders, namely players, head coaches and referees.
Euroleague Basketball previously reached agreements with the ELPA (EuroLeague Players Association) in April 2019 and with UEBO (Union of Euroleague Basketball Officials) in September 2019.
The Euroleague Basketball Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) is an independent body that through its Arbitration Code brings rapid contract termination dispute resolution between clubs and head coaches within the Euroleague Basketball governance system. The DRC Board, whose responsibility is to oversee the correct application of the Arbitration Code, is composed by Mr. Luigi Fumagalli, Mr. Andrea Fioravanti, and Mr. Jose Meirim. The list of DRC arbitrators is composed by Mr. Pierfilippo Capello, Mr. Lucas Ferrer, Mr. Martin Henssler, Mr. Jan Kleiner, Mr. Dennis Koolard, Mr. Emin Ozkurt, Ms. Lauren Page, Mr. Theodore Pistiolis and Mr. Bojan Urdarevic.
The DRC follows improvements agreed to last summer between Euroleague Basketball and the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board concerning the process for resolving overdue salary payment disputes to increase the security and minimize risk for head coaches who find themselves in this situation.
Eduard J. Scott, Chief Operations Officer, Euroleague Basketball, stated: "We are very satisfied to announce this agreement with the EHCB. Head coaches are important contributors to the EuroLeague competition, providing unquestionable leadership on the court. For the EuroLeague to continue to grow and improve further, their leadership off the court is also important. Our clubs wish to continuously support and better integrate our head coaches as well as our players and referees into that growth process. This is achieved through ongoing dialogue and improved working conditions, which positively contribute to making the EuroLeague better for our fans – the primary goal in everything that we do."
Zeljko Obradovic, President, EuroLeague Head Coaches Board, stated: "At the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board, we have a clear idea that our goal is to establish the right framework and a platform for growth for future generations of coaches and basketball in general. Part of that responsibility is being heard in governance, especially labor regulations and competition development and their implementations. Though there may be changes, the role of a coach on the court and off it is key for the sport, and we all understand our obligations and responsibilities associated with the job. However, we have rights that need to be protected."
Goran Sasic, Executive Director, EuroLeague Head Coaches Board, stated: "We see this as an important milestone that has been achieved in the very first year of the foundation of the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board, and I would like to thank all stakeholders who were involved in the discussions, particularly Euroleague Basketball and its clubs. Until today, all disputes between coaches and clubs were handled by BAT, CAS or in national courts, which are outside of the Euroleague governance system. Dispute resolution was not effectively utilized until now and we believe that the DRC can be more effective for everyone."