Panathinaikos unprecedented decision to transfer the club’s Euroleague license and shares has shaken the basketball world. The Greek powerhouse intention is allowed by Chapter IV, Article 15 of the Euroleague bylaws, which states the conditions to transfer a Licensed Club licence, and Chapter IV, Article 17, which states the Transfer of Shares. Both transfers must be complied at the same time.
Article 15 states: “Only the Licensed Clubs may grant their licence to a third-party club, with the prior approval of the General Assembly, which will be confirmed by EV, and provided that they fulfil the specific requirements for transferring licences that will be approved by the General Assembly. Under no circumstance will a Licensed Club that has not participated for at least three consecutive seasons with a Licensed Club Licence be authorised to transfer its licence. No act, commitment or resolution that is undertaken contravening this limitation will be legally effective. Neither the Companies nor the Clubs will be responsible before third parties for this non-compliance”.
Article 17 states: “Any substitution of a Club, whatever the reason for this substitution is, will entail the obligation of the old member to sell its ECA shares according to the procedures, consideration and pricing criteria established by the General Assembly”.
This unprecedented situation can’t rely on a blueprint, but it seems likely that Euroleague will follow the existant criteria for “Allocating Licensed Club Licences”, Chapter II Article 4 of the bylaws. It is important to highlight two comma of this article: comma 2, which states as a criteria to obtain a Licensed Club Licence the “use of an arena with a minimum capacity for 10,000 seated spectators” (this criteria may exclude teams such as Bayern, ASVEL, Khimki and Zenit, considering who will play next season’s Euroleague); and comma 8, which says that “when there are two or more Licensed Clubs from the same League, no additional Licensed Club Licences will be granted to clubs from that League” (this may complicate Valencia’s case, given the fact that three ACB teams -Real, Barcelona, Baskonia- are in possession of a Licensed Club Licence).
Euroleague bylaws may be viewed at this link.