The EuroLeague CBA may soon be a reality

By Aris Barkas/

Since ELPA, the Euroleague players association was created back in 2018, many things have changed. However, one crucial demand from the side of the players remains the same.

One of the main goals of ELPA was the first-ever collective bargaining agreement between the players and the EuroLeague clubs which in conjunction with the Financial Fair Play rules can create a more sustainable league. “You need to have a model that can be sustainable or else you will end up with an unfortunate situation and we had such an example this year”, said during his annual Final Four meeting with the press EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu, implying the Khimki financial disaster of the 2020-21 season.

The CBA will regulate the financial landscape of the EuroLeague players contracts and even if that means that some rules may make NBA offers even more attractive, it’s a step that Bertomeu believes that should be taken: “We have a lot of players that are capable of competing in the NBA, but we have to think of all our players and make things more sustainable for everyone. After all, we also had players coming over from the NBA and I need to tell you that usually, we see headlines when EuroLeague players are leaving for the NBA and not the opposite”. 

The talks have been delayed due to the COVID situation, however, there’s restrained optimism that a CBA may become a reality sooner than later and this might end up being the last summer without a collective bargaining agreement.

The talks remain ongoing and there are two important details that may change the shape of the EuroLeague market.

The first one is a possible moratorium between clubs and players and having a set date for the start of the free agency like it’s happening in the NBA.

The second and most important is that a certain degree of transparency can be introduced to players’ salaries, which are currently not public information.

However, considering the fact that, depending on the country, each EuroLeague club has to face different taxation rules and on many occasions, it’s hard to pin-point the worth of each contract – especially for US players who have to pay US taxes if the local taxation on their contracts is lower than 38% – a system of tiers may be introduced.

Nothing is finalized yet, but a system of four or five tiers will give a pretty good idea of the rough cost of each contract with the first tier being the upper echelon, for example, contracts which worth more than 1,5 million euros and then a second tier with the limit being at one million et cetera.

While the CBA remains a work in progress and the talks with all stakeholders are not an easy task, it’s obvious that’s the next natural step for the financial evolution of the league.



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