German BBL clubs have until Sunday to submit their financial paperwork for licenses for next season. The biggest news so far has defending champions Alba Berlin saying they will not increase their budget for 2010 to 10 million euros as they had hoped.
Berlin have long talked about increasing their budget from the current estimated 7.5 million euros to 10 million euros to help better compete in the Euroleague. But with the current worldwide economic crisis still on-going, Alba manager Marco Baldi told the German tabloid daily Bild that the club does not want to risk going over their means.
“At the moment, we cannot maintain this goal,” Baldi told Bild. “We really have to see clearly what’s going on in the market. And it doesn’t look like increases.”
When asked if Alba would be stagnant with their budget, he added: “At the moment, we have to assume that.”
Baldi, in the report, also cited the situation at BC Kyiv – who had to recently release six foreign players – as something Alba desperately want to avoid, adding: “We will only spend what we can generate.”
Another big German club also admitted this week that the poor world economy would affect their planning for next season.
Deutsche Bank Skyliners do not release their budget information, but the Frankfurt team manager Gunnar Wöbke told the Frankfurter Neue Presse: “We always plan our budget conservatively. But we will plan it a bit more conservatively now.”
“It’s natural that the world economic crisis will impact the entire economy, including all professional sports clubs,” Wöbke added.
The FNP report also noted that Frankfurt’s main sponsor Deutsche Bank – one of the leading banks in Germany – has until December to announce if it will remain a partner with the club after the 2009-2010 season.
And BBL chief executive Jan Pommer said in the same FNP report that the league could be facing having fewer than 18 clubs next season if the odd side cannot cover the 1 million euro minimum budget.
“We have to remain authoritative and stick to our standards,” Pommer said. “I do not assume it, but that of course could mean that there will not be 18 teams next season.”