Euroleague Basketball announces principles of an agreement with the VTB United League
|Euroleague Basketball and the United League have agreed to the principles of an agreement to integrate the United League into the Euroleague Basketball competition structure. Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu, and United League President Sergey Ivanov announced the principles during a press conference in Khimki prior to the Eurocup Finals.
Euroleague Basketball understands that the European club basketball scene has evolved over the past few years in many ways, and Euroleague Basketball are constantly listening to its clubs to work together to find solutions to the challenges they face. The United League has been a competition in existence for the past three seasons without any type of integration. The United League competition has grown due to the clubs´ needs for more games of a higher quality on a more frequent basis. The Euroleague competition will from the 2012-13 season have an expanded Top 16 phase in order to help meet this need, whilst the clubs in the region have also increased their participation in the United League during the past period. Euroleague Basketball at their last General Assembly in October 2011 approved regulations regarding clubs simultaneous participation in multiple leagues with the aim of creating a debate in the region. This was due to the current situation creating excessive confusion amongst fans, participants, partners and the media. Following a period of consultation with stakeholders in the region including clubs, leagues and national federations, Euroleague Basketball and the United League have agreed to a number of principles. They are the following:
- Maintain the same number of places in the Euroleague and Eurocup competitions for each country
- Integrate the United League into the Euroleague Basketball competition structure
- Maintain space in the clubs competitions calendar so that each United League participant can also play in their National League
Both parties will continue to work together to elaborate the final proposal that will be presented to the Euroleague Basketball General Assembly and United League Board for approval at the end of the 2011-12 season, protecting and maintaining the current distribution of countries and licenses.
In accordance with Euroleague Basketball policy, the agreement will be presented to the relevant stakeholders in the European basketball community including ULEB and FIBA Europe.
Mr. Sergey Ivanov: VTB United League president and Chief of Staff Presidential Administration of Russia
"I am very delighted to announce that the VTB United League will be in the Euroleague country ranking. The main idea is that the results of the VTB United League will give permission for the clubs to go to the Euroleague and the Eurocup. The format for the future will be discussed at the VTB United League board meeting, which will be held at our final four. There, all the details will be announced. Concerning the qualification to the Euroleague, it will change.."
Mr. Jordi Bertomeu: Euroleague Basketball President and CEO
"We are here with some good news we want to explain and communicate. Something that we wanted when we came here, after months of talks with many partners involved, but mainly with the VTB United League representatives. I am glad to say we have completed an agreement today about principles in order to integrate the VTB United League into the Euroleague Basketball structure. It's a fact now, and I am confident that from now until the end of the season, we will close the details that need to be fixed. The main principles are already in place. I want to thank everyone involved: clubs, national leagues and federations, because all this month there has been a very open discussion to come to this agreement.
"So we have in front of us a new period. We are all excited about this new path we have. When Mr. Ivanov, the VTB United League president explains the details, you will realize how we can manage to solve a situation that is complex, but thanks to everyone renouncing something of their own, we all have achieved a great deal.”