We have discussed this subject for ever and now it is official, France will have 3 Euroleague teams in 2009/2010. Despite disastrous results, Jordi Bertomeu declared in a recent interview with the French newspaper l’Equipe that three French teams will be among the 30 teams that will start into the next Euroleague season.
One team will be granted a B License as French Champion, the vice-champion will be granted a B License too and may be qualified directly for the regular season or has to go through the qualification phase. And then, a 3-year Wildcard will be distributed to ASVEL that will have to go through the qualification phase. So the year-long lobbying by the French team from Villeurbanne, bringing even Tony Parker in as shareholder, has come to a good end.
However, if ASVEL qualifies for the French Finals, the Wildcard will go to another French team that still needs to be decided on unknown criteria so far. So France can say thank you to Canal+ and the very big amount of money paid by the French TV channel to get the TV rights and the future creation of a big club in Villeurbanne to be now even better represented despite having poorer and poorer results. But in a worst case scenario for them, France will have only one team in the regular phase if the two other teams lose in the Qualification round which does not seem that illogic.
And one last personal comment, if France gets three entrance tickets on the criteria that are mentioned above, Germany should at least get a 2nd spot in the 2009/2010 edition.