Talks between Olympiacos and ABA League continue
Olympiacos have not backed down from their threat to leave the Greek Basket League and move to the ABA League.
Talks between Olympiacos and the ABA League have continued over the last few days regarding the Erythrolefk’s move to the league. According to Live Sport, the two sides are discussing a three-year contract which will see Olympiacos compete in the ABA League during that time span. The league would like to keep Olympiacos for multiple years and avoid a ‘one-year outing,’ which in turn will also help the league build their ‘brand name.’
Olympiacos met with five of the 12 clubs currently competing in the ABA League and for the most part, there is a positive attitude towards Olympiacos’ move over. The main backlash that was received by the clubs is the issue surrounding added expenses with a trip to Greece for league matches. However, the Greek side assured that they will bring in additional sponsors to help cover these extra costs.
If Olympiacos do join the league the number of teams will increase from 12 to 14. An additional team will be added, which will likely be Olimpija Ljubljana who suffered relegation to the second division. However, the Slovenian club are a ‘big name’ to the league, despite their fall of form, and the ABA organization would like to keep them in the league.
A couple barriers stand in the way to the move including the ABA rulebook which states no team can compete directly in the ABA League. A team must earn a place via promotion from the second vision. Also, the books state that only teams from the former Yugoslavia countries can compete in the league, but changes could be made to help facilitate Olympiacos’ move to the ABA league.
A shareholders meeting will take place at the end of the ABA Finals to discuss Olympiacos’ addition to the league. At that point in time, more details will be know.
Olympiacos will not completely remove itself from Greece’s domestic basketball leagues. To avoid losing the ‘status’ of the club, which results when a club is not competitive for two years, the Piraeus side will suffer relegation and compete in the A2 Basket League. An Olympiacos development team will compete in this league where players will be given the opportunity to develop and contest a place in the Olympiacos first team (competing in the ABA League). With this solution, Olympiacos will have an entry way back into Greece’ competitions, rather than starting from the bottom of Greece’s league basketball pyramid, if their desired changes are made in the Greek Basket League and they initiate a return back to the Greek first division.