The Executive Committee of FIBA Europe met on Monday 15 January 2007 in Munich. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the current situation in European basketball and more specifically issues related to the European Club Competitions and the state of the relations with Uleb, including the Uniform Player Contract proposed by Uleb.
During the meeting, the Executive Committee met with a delegation of the European Union of Players, composed by the President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer, in order to discuss mainly the above-mentioned issue of the Uniform Player Contract. Both sides agreed that this proposal is unacceptable and decided to co-operate in order to avoid its introduction.
As to the rest of the relations with Uleb, the Executive Committee examined some recent declarations coming from the Uleb side and containing a series of untruths and distortions of the truth, as if they wanted to deliberately provoke a crisis. In view of this, the Executive Committee considers it necessary to make some precisions in order to clarify some issues and avoid misinformation:
1. Club competitions
The top European Club Competitions have a long and rich history. They were not created in the year 2000 with the division of European basketball. For those who follow European basketball it is well known that at the end of the 80's and throughout the 1990s, the top European club competitions organized by FIBA had reached an unprecedented popularity and set records at sports, financial and technical level that are far beyond the current levels. At the same time, FIBA club competitions were the pioneers and the trend-setter of most developments in team sports. Innovations such as the Final-four concept were setting the examples followed by other team sports.
As to the future organization of European club competitions, FIBA Europe regrets to say that Uleb uses a double language. Fortunately, the minutes of the recent meeting between FIBA Europe and Uleb that was held in Madrid on 9.11.2006 upon the initiative of FIBA Europe show clearly the real positions of FIBA Europe and Uleb respectively.
Finally, as to the new doctrine about the possibility or need to commercialize one part of sport, it is a nonsense that cannot be taken seriously, but unfortunately at the same time a dangerous nonsense.
2. The proposed Uniform Player Contract
Many of the proposed provisions are contrary to the FIBA Internal Regulations and FIBA Europe Regulations on the player contracts. In fact, the very idea of having such a contract violates the general concept of a split of responsibilities which has been included in the agreement between FIBA Europe and Uleb.
3 Insurance of National teams players
Contrary to some recent allegations, there is a FIBA Europe regulation regarding the insurance of all players participating in National team competitions. All European National Federations apply it, even at youth level.
4. Representation of European clubs
In its relations with FIBA Europe, Uleb behaves as the unique and exclusive representative of all individual European clubs on all matters. It would be interesting to ask if the clubs want to give Uleb a “blank check” for everything. It is reminded that according to the contract with FIBA Europe, Uleb is authorized only to manage 2 competitions with a total of 48 clubs.
5. Transfers of European players
As to the transfers of European players, Uleb obviously refers to transfers towards the NBA. FIBA Europe has repeatedly referred to all the issues in relation with the NBA, mainly through interventions of its President in various fora (twice at the Pedro Ferrandiz Foundation and at the General Assembly). FIBA Europe has formally asked from FIBA to proceed to a total review of its 1997 agreement with the NBA. If Uleb is not aware of these actions, FIBA Europe would be glad to provide them with all the relevant documents.
6. Uleb´s relations with other entities.
Regarding the development of relations with other entities outside Europe, such as the intended actions in China, we would like to mention that such activities are outside the scope of Uleb competences as defined in the agreement of 3.11.2004, and that for world basketball matters the only competent body is FIBA.
In conclusion, FIBA Europe stresses that it will always react on all similar issues, either alone or in close co-operation with FIBA, in cases under the responsibility of FIBA, such as the standard player contract, the player transfers from Europe to the NBA or the expansion policy of Uleb.
Regardless of this, FIBA Europe stresses that it will continue to work for the unity of European basketball and expects from Uleb also a constructive, responsible and frank attitude.