Sergei Ivanov: League teams have financial profits of playing in our championship

Sergei Ivanov: League teams have financial profits of playing in our championship

VTB United League honorary president Sergey Ivanov spoke with the media following the League Board meeting in Moscow.

On the last season: The results of the last season were successful as always. A lot has changed since the first United League season – broadcast quality, arenas. The progress is evident. And one more figure that many people don’t know – athletes from 59 countries have played in the League in 15 years. This shows that the League is known in the World and enjoys a good reputation. Perhaps due to political reasons the level of foreign players has slightly decreased, but their number has not – strong athletes from other countries continue to come to us. The League lives, develops and will do it further.

About the format and the teams that left the League: As for the format – 12 teams will play 4 rounds. The Play-In remains, the Playoffs also remained unchanged – Quarterfinals up to 3 wins, Semifinals and Finals to 4. MINSK left the League due sporting reasons. It’s a pity, because they were participants from the very beginning. They have never made the Playoffs, unlike a number of other foreign clubs. They failed due to lack of budget. MINSK itself asked to be excluded from the VTB League, but with one important condition – they will participate in the VTB Youth League, which is an integral part of the entire League.
As for Runa, it’s about the financial component and debts. It so happened that the team played a year and honestly admitted that they are not able to fulfill the regulations of the League today. We do not rule out that they may return in a year, but we will thoroughly check the state of their affairs. The fact that they have played a year does not mean anything. Now we are approaching the selection of candidates very seriously.

About Dinamo Vladivostok: Dinamo Vladivostok application was not considered. I’m not even talking about the formal side, as they applied later than the announced deadline, contrary to all regulations. Their application could let the cat out of the bag. They claimed Fetisov Arena, where the hockey team plays. It is a good one. It is a successful arena for VTB United League games, but basketball have never been played there. There is no basketball floor, no time meter. So we can’t take such a risk and believe the promises that everything will be done over the summer. There have been mistakes in the past by the League management and myself when we believed the promises. Some cases ended quite sadly.
Samara was preparing to join the League for 5 years. Uralmash had a new arena, strong roster. The argument that the SuperLeague winner should automatically join the VTB League does not suit. There are several main criterions, including the budget and the arena quality. I hope that Dinamo Vladivostok will prepare and play games at Fetisov Arena. If all the requirements are met, we will be happy to have the team into the League.

On the League’s expenses: The League aims to cover the rather large costs that go into organizing the championship, the All-Star Game, which takes place in one of the best arenas in Russia. We continue to pay for refereeing, insurance, we have money prize, bonuses. League teams have financial profits of plaing in our championship