With playoffs coming to an end in most countries, teams are starting to hit the summer recruiting market. But currently, several teams are still on hold because they don’t know where they will be playing next season. We took a short look at three different situations where team owners, fans and league officials still don’t know which team will play in which league next season.
In Germany, Giants Nördlingen officially stepped back yesterday evening, as sponsorship negotiations failed. The team, which had a very surprising first season in the Bundesliga, took the decision not to continue in the first division because they are unable to play a serious and successful 2009/2010 campaign under current circumstances. Even Giants Nördlingen could set up a budget of the league’s minimum of €1 million, it would not be enough to compete on the level needed in Bundesliga, and so the team returns to ProA next season. The question to be discussed at the moment is which team now earn Nördlingen’s spot in the Bundesliga.
In fact, the rules of the Bundesliga are not very clear on this situation, as Nördlingen stepped back at a time when the regular season was over (resulting in the sportive relegations of LTi Giessen 46ers and Eisbären Bremerhaven) but the playoffs continue. As Nördlingen declared their self-relegation between the end of the regular season and the end of the competition (which should be the playoffs), they will be considered relegated. The problem is that it is not defined if the “end of the competition” is team-specific or league-specific, as competition has ended for 14 out of 18 teams.
The Bundesliga has not officially reacted to this new situation so far; the problem is that they are still in negotiations with several teams that are in financial trouble (e.g. Cologne, Paderborn) for which the situation needs to be clarified. So for the moment, it is unsure what will happen to Nördlingen’s position in the Bundesliga.
A 19 year-old dilemma coming to an end
In Spain, the situation is easier to understand but probably stranger in general. The ACB played with only 17 teams this year because of the financial collapse of Girona last summer. CAI Zaragoza finished last and will move back to LEB Gold, while Lucentum Alicante and Forum Valladolid qualified to move up from the ACB from LEB Gold. So far so good.
The difficulty of the situation comes from a 19 year-old story that we talked about a year ago here on BallinEurope. The team of Obradoiro has until the 15th of June to file all necessary paperwork with the ACB in order to earn the ACB spot that they won in 1990. For the moment, it is unknown whether Obradoiro will be able to put all the necessary stuff on the table but if that is the case, Vive Menorca must go down to LEB Gold, too. At least, in any case, ACB will be played with 18 teams again next season.
Capo d’Orlando may be back in professional basketball
Finally, we received information today that former Lega team Capo d’Orlando is attempting to return to the professional level. The team that disappeared this summer after a year-long dispute over debt the team, but where the situation was not clear at all.
With the financial relegation of Napoli last summer, the Italian league decided to kick out Capo d’Orlando too. But now, a source close to the situation confirmed to us that the former management of Capo d’Orlando is currently checking the market to see if there are teams willing to sell their license because of financial trouble. It looks like LegaDue teams are currently available to buy.
UPDATE on Giants Nördlingen
Today, 2nd June, the German Bundesliga reacted officially to the step back of Nördlingen. The BBL announced that currently they don’t have an official renunciation paper from the team yet. However, if they receive that paper from the Nördlingen management, it will highly likely be considered as valid and Nördlingen would be a third relegated team. If and who will get that spot will be decided in a later session of the BBL Board. It looks like a Wildcard process will be started this summer.