MIES, Switzerland - The International Basketball Federation will welcome a delegation representing top European clubs, together with Euroleague representatives, at the House of Basketball on 3 November to discuss the launch of a new European top club competition.
The talks will take place following a meeting hosted by FIBA earlier this month with ULEB (Union of European Leagues of Basketball) and representatives of European domestic and regional leagues, during which important conclusions on professional basketball were agreed.
FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann said: "We look forward to welcoming a delegation from the top European clubs to the House of Basketball and formally open a proper communication channel with them. FIBA greatly appreciates the support they have given to top-level basketball for many years. We are very keen to hear their views on our proposed new top club competition and any other topics they might be interested in, given how much FIBA has changed and grown over the past few years. We look forward to having open and constructive discussions on the future of professional basketball in Europe and are happy to note that national federations and other basketball stakeholders look forward to remodelling the European Club competitions.
"Together with our committed strategic partners, FIBA wants to move the top international club competitions in Europe up to the next level, including more regions over time, to develop harmoniously the sport for all clubs and the basketball family as a whole."
The FIBA Model
As presented to the clubs earlier this summer, FIBA's new top European club competition will consist of 16 teams playing each other in a round-robin format. The best eight teams will then advance to the play-offs.
There will be eight guaranteed spots among the 16 teams for FC Barcelona (Spain), Real Madrid (Spain), Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece), Panathinaikos Athens (Greece), Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv (Israel), CSKA Moscow (Russia), Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Turkey) and Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey).
There will be a further four guaranteed spots for the national league champions of France, Germany, Italy and Lithuania. The remaining four slots will be filled after a qualification round in which teams from 28 national leagues - with at least 23 more national champions - will participate.
The format for the play-offs will be 'best-of-three game' series, with the winners going through to the final four knockout stage.
The new competition is designed to tackle key challenges that basketball faces and is based on firm principles:
- It will be stable and consistent in the long term, while offering the opportunity for expansion in future years;
- It is simple and easily understood by fans and the general public;
- The format ensures that competition results are not predictable;
- It is credible from a sports perspective, not solely driven by commercial interests;
- It is also financially sustainable over the long term, having secured major investment and with both FIBA and FIBA Europe committing their own resources to the competition;
- It is inclusive, providing opportunities to new teams from emerging countries in the sport;
- It is clear and transparent with regards to the roles and responsibilities of all of basketball’s stakeholders;
- It protects domestic leagues by ensuring that European league game days are not played at the weekend.
The new company would centralise TV rights and broadcast operations, retaining the revenues generated by those rights. It would also earn revenue from some digital and marketing rights and guarantee a distribution of €30 million per season to competing clubs.
The clubs will manage the new league through a governing board and each club will receive guaranteed revenues, performance bonuses and profit sharing. They will be entitled to decide how to use their share of the profits under the principles of Financial Fair Play.
The governance structure of the company should also allow for future adaptation, as well as enabling other strategic partners to join.