Jordi Bertomeu calls FIBA windows 'disorienting', names EuroLeague club's 'perversities'

2022-11-15 20:21

Former EuroLeague CEO and president Jordi Bertomeu talked about EuroLeague clubs not releasing their players for the FIBA windows. He also pointed out that certain teams oppose the Financial Fair Play, although they're the ones that can benefit from it.

Credit: Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Jordi Bertomeu's tenure in the Euroleague has been completed, but the Catalan executive came to the fore once again, on the occasion of an interview he conceded to the YouTube Channel "SergioBasket vlogs".

EuroLeague Basketball's former president and CEO spoke about the fact that in previous years it was more difficult for EuroLeague teams to allow their players to play in the FIBA windows. Bertomeu talked to Rafa Muntion and Sergio Vegas about the beginnings, some important moments, and the future of Europe's top-flight.

"The FIBA windows was something we had discussed," Bertomeu said, and explained how all clubs ended up refusing to allow their players to join their NTs for the FIBA qualifiers.

"We had talked about it and I convinced the teams that the position of the EuroLeague could not be different from that of the NBA.

Our teams were not second-rate, and owners should be given the same respect that NBA team owners receive; they shouldn't feel like their players are playing in a second-rate league. So, we made the decision and no one hesitated, no one asked for a game to be re-scheduled," the former EuroLeague president continued.

"What we experienced last week had not happened since 2017," he argued. 

"EuroLeague has great staff and a great opportunity to grow with the teams. But you got to have a goal, a common line. We knew what we wanted; we had a plan. Mistakes were made, which everyone knew," he said. 

Credit Getty Images

Bertomeu called what happened in the FIBA November windows "disorienting."

"It shows a lot of confusion. Now, the question is this: Will teams let their players go to the national teams? Some do, and others don't. This doesn't make sense because we are talking about a league with common goals and common interests, which must act as a whole".

Apart from the FIBA-EuroLeague clash, Bertomeu also addressed what he views as a "perversity" in European basketball- the fact that clubs with limited resources are often those who oppose the implementation of a Financial Fair Play.

"The clubs with the biggest (financial) losses are eight. The other ten clubs have no significant losses," he said.

"The clubs' main priority is to earn money. Since the resources don't cover the expenses, there are two solutions. One is to complain that the league doesn't give you enough money. A second solution would be for the owners to put the money out of their own pocket.

The league only gives you the money it generates. Just because you spend 10 million euros on a player doesn't mean the league is worth 10 million. These are two completely different parameters. That's is the first perversity," Bertomeu holds.

Credit Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

"The second is when the league proposes models of economic sustainability (what would be called Financial Fair Play), the clubs whose owners put the most money are those who don't like those rules, although they are the maximum beneficiaries.

Why? Because you're telling them they can't spend that money and that they're possibly going to have some profit. Those who put the money are the same who complain when you introduce rules that could generate a balance in the competition," the Catalan lawyer concluded.


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