After we spoke about the discussions that came up last week when the ACB proposed an alternative format for the Euroleague, we had the opportunity to speak with Kirsten Haack of Euroleague Basketball in order to clarify the situation and get to know what is really going on with the Euroleague.
First of all, Kirsten told us about the discrepancy between the official voting results of the Euroleague and the figures published by El Mundo Deportivo. The Euroleague General Assembly has 34 members; these 34 members are the 24 teams playing in the Euroleague, the nine leagues that they represent, and the president of the Euroleague. However, the president has no voting rights, so only 33 votes are possible. So the result published by the Euroleague with 25 votes in favor, 5 blanks and 3 nays is correct. The problem that arose occurred when one of the 25 pro-voters took his decision back after one week. However, this was considered by the Euroleague as too late, and his vote was thus taken into account as a positive one.
What was voted on in Berlin was only an objective, a plan; it was not at that time a decision to change the format of the Euroleague for 2009/2010. This is also a very important point.
Last week, the ACB proposed an alternative competition format to the ULEB assembly, a different committee than the Euroleague assembly. However, this proposal has not been officially introduced to the Euroleague so far. And only the Euroleague General Assembly may decide on the format of Euroleague competition. This proposal is, in contrast, not backed by all ULEB members as of today, as you can see in the official Euroleague press release, where lots of international decision-makers are still backing the proposed new Euroleague format.
This sounds all super complicated, so here is the summary. In 2008/2009, the Euroleague will be played in the decided format of four groups with six teams. The plan of the Euroleague to create these different A, B and C licenses is set to become reality for the 2009/2010 edition. However, it still needs to be voted for in following Euroleague General Assemblies. Beforehand, both the Euroleague and the ULEB will discuss this format as well as the ACB proposal to try to reach consensus.
The next Euroleague general assembly is only in January 2009, so both parties have enough time to discuss and compromise.