First-time pact for European basketball creates clear, unified framework going forward
Euroleague Basketball and the EuroLeague Players Association (ELPA) announced on Saturday the completion of a landmark collective agreement that reinforces the commitment between the league, clubs and players to a clear, unified and safe framework of cooperation among all parties.
The EuroLeague Framework Agreement (EFA), a first of its kind in pan-European basketball and team sports in general, will last until the end of the 2023-24 season. Both sides expect this historic step forward to boost the growth of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and to reinforce the players' role as main protagonists and business partners in the competition.
Negotiations on the agreement began shortly after ELPA was formed in 2018 and focused on providing both sides with a predictable and stable relationship going forward into the future.
Among many upgrades in their job conditions, players will be assured of minimum renumeration according to the length of their EuroLeague service, salary payment safeguards, and cooperation in different areas such as season calendar, health and safety protocols, doping tests and rules of the game.
In the wake of the worldwide pandemic that saw fans kept away from arenas and games canceled, there is now a precise system in place which will provide protections for both sides in case clubs will be financially impacted by force majeure situations in the future.
Dispute resolution mechanisms, regulated image and commercial rights, limits on the length and duration of training camp and practices, monthly days off and medical services improvements are among the other features of the agreement. Additionally, Euroleague Basketball will carry out league-wide team-by-team meetings with the players to present rules and guidelines before each new season and to discuss any open issues.
The parties have agreed to a Standard Player Contract which will serve to regulate the club-player relationship across the league.
The EFA, which is a compulsory minimum standard for all participating EuroLeague clubs and players, will operate to the extent that it does not contradict mandatory laws and regulations within the countries of the clubs.
"After talking with ELPA consistently over the last years, the confirmation of this agreement today makes it clear to everyone that our clubs and players are now stronger partners than ever in growing this sport we all love," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, stated. "It is crucial to note that when the league, the clubs and the players know what they can count on from each other, year to year, all of us can concentrate that much better on our primary mutual goal, which is to offer our fans one of the most dramatic sporting spectacles on the planet."
"Since ELPA's founding it has been our priority to reach a collective agreement, which would standardize the relationships between players and clubs across the EuroLeague," Bostjan Nachbar, ELPA Managing Director, said. "This has been a long and challenging process that required a lot of time and effort on both sides. Many of our members, especially the Players’ Board, have unselfishly dedicated their time for the betterment of working conditions for all current and future EuroLeague players. I believe we now have a solid base to work on even more improvements in the future, while at the same time players will have the opportunity to see their careers grow together with the further development of the league itself."