Today was the day of truth for the Cologne basketball team that went bankrupt a few weeks ago. But Cologne would not be Cologne if the story was not carnival-like.
18/2/2008: Deadline to introduce a dossier explaining how the team can survive.
19/2/2008: The German basketball Bundesliga will announce their judgement at 17h00 about the future of Basketball in Cologne.
17h12: Official press release of the Cologne 99ers basketball team: The responsible persons of the American Sports GmbH announce together with the insolvency administrator Dr. Norbert Heimann that the basketball team will stop its activities with immediate effect. The Basketball Bundesliga has been informed. More information will be announced on the 20/2/2008 at 11h30 in an official press conference.
17h22: The German basketball Bundesliga announces in a press release the end of the Cologne basketball team.
17h38: The ranking on the official website of the Basketball Bundesliga has been adapted. Cologne is now last with 0 points and all their wins have been switched into losses.
18h23: Khimki Moscow is in Cologne in the arena and wants to play the ULEB Cup game that was scheduled to be played.
18h44: Rumors appear in the discussion forums that Cologne can however continue and that the ULEB Cup game will be played, with a little delay.
18h56: The official press release on the website of the team has been amended and says that the game against Khimki Moscow will be played.
19h03: A local TV station broadcasts live from the arena: the game will be played tonight.
19h30: The game played against Khimki is an official ULEB Cup game and not just a friendship game.
19h40: The commissioner of the Bundesliga Jan Pommer announces that he sees some light in the dark skyand that the game is not played because Khimki made some pressure on the Cologne officials to play.
19h50: WDR3 announces that Cologne probably plays the game in order to avoid a huge fine by the ULEB.
19h55: The ULEB Cup game between Cologne and Khimki Moscow started.
20h03: The news about the retreat of the Bundesliga license has been deleted from the official club homepage.
20h13: With a reduced team, Cologne is up 34-33 against Khimki Moscow after 14 minutes
20h14: Official press release: Cologne secures its future. The responsible persons of the Cologne 99ers basketball team announce that the team has secured its future in legal and financial purposes. A newly founded company will be the platform to acquire sponsors to continue the success story of Cologne basketball. More information will be announced tomorrow in a press conference at 11h30.
20h50: Cologne is still up 57-56
21h25: Cologne loses against Khimki 72-91 with two players injured: Yassin Idbihi and Philipp Schwethelm
21h43: The newspaper Express announces that the new company that will be at the base of the Cologne basketball team is a newly founded "circle of friends for the Cologne basketball". A team of entrepreneurs around construction mogul Anton Bausinger has apparently taken over. "It is true, I am part of it", confirms Bausinger,"we want to secure basketball in Cologne not only until the summer but also for the future." Bausinger, who is the owner of the area where the temporary arena is set up, has big plans. He plans to build a new arena in this area for the future of basketball in Cologne.
to be continued…