MIES, Switzerland - Following a meeting held earlier in the year with a number of European national federations and their respective leagues, FIBA hosted another series of meetings at the House of Basketball on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 October 2015 with ULEB (Union of European Leagues of Basketball) and an important number of representatives of European domestic and regional leagues - Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Adriatic League and VTB League - covering 25 countries to discuss FIBA's vision for the future of professional basketball.
FIBA provided the attendees with detailed information about its ambitious plans for the future of basketball in Europe and reaffirmed its conviction that European club basketball is far from having reached its growth potential. FIBA stressed that this growth is only possible if all stakeholders work in a united manner.
After reforming its governance and including the Players and the NBA in its Central Board, FIBA expressed its wish for clubs and leagues worldwide to also form an integral part of FIBA's family with the view to jointly open a new successful era for professional basketball.
The attendees welcomed the following important and historical measures to integrate clubs and leagues further within the FIBA family:
- European clubs and leagues representatives shall have dedicated seats as full voting members within the Board of FIBA Europe;
- FIBA Europe's Advisory Board to the new FIBA Europe Cup shall include representatives of clubs and ULEB;
- FIBA will establish a Professional Basketball Council (PBC) as an official body of FIBA. Among the terms of reference of this new body, as approved by the attendees, will be the promotion of unity among all professional basketball stakeholders as well as preserving the interests of clubs and leagues within FIBA;
- Representatives of FIBA Europe will be invited to attend ULEB's General Assemblies;
- ULEB shall appoint - in consultation with FIBA - a permanent representative to act as European national leagues liaison in order to facilitate a much closer cooperation between ULEB, its member leagues and FIBA. FIBA will provide ULEB with financial and administrative support for this person, who will coordinate ULEB's efforts with the competition departments of the European Regional Office and of the FIBA headquarters.
The attendees further agreed that European basketball will only grow if all stakeholders mutually recognise and respect each other, work towards the same objectives and share the same values. It was also highlighted that strong national championships as well as international club and national team competitions organised by FIBA are vital for the on-going and healthy development of basketball.
There was common understanding that, in the best interest of professional basketball’s development, stakeholders must align their competitions to a common sport Competition Calendar and by 2019-2020, top leagues should aim at having a maximum of 16 teams.
As such, the following important conclusions were reached:
1. Adequate insurance based on FIBA's new insurance policy will be provided for players while on release with their national teams.
2. The leagues welcomed FIBA's decision to protect players and clubs by reducing the national team preparation period in the lead-up to FIBA Basketball World Cups, Continental Cups and Olympic Games to 28 training days.
3. The Professional Basketball Council (PBC) will study the implementation of the new FIBA regulation allowing FIBA to allocate to clubs a contribution deriving from the profits arising from major national team events, for their role in the successful staging of these events.
4. ULEB and its members present confirmed their full support to the participation in the preparation of the 2016-17 FIBA Europe Cup season as the only second Cup in Europe.