Mr Ivanov briefed the journalists on the revenue and expenses of the Russian basketball clubs in the league during the current, seventh, season. CSKA continues to be the most prosperous Russian club in the league. Mr Ivanov said that the exchange rate difference explains the leading clubs’ budget increases this year, just like last year. Mr Ivanov also noted with regret that Russian clubs continue having problems making enough money, unlike their counterparts abroad.
Mr Ivanov said it was possible that other Russian clubs might join the league and noted that the final list of participants in the next season championship would be approved later at the league’s council. “We need strong clubs and fierce competition”, Mr Ivanov said.
Mr Ivanov also touched upon the question of relations between the VTB United League and the Russian Basketball Federation, describing them as a partnership. “We are not vying for supremacy. Each of us is busy doing our own job”, Mr Ivanov said.
Commenting on the confrontation between the EuroLeague and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which has led to several countries’ national teams, including Russia’s, being barred from the 2017 European championship; Mr Ivanov said he hopes this dispute would be resolved soon. “If this conflict continues, the big danger for men’s basketball in Russia is that club owners and shareholders will terminate their funding. This would be very detrimental to the national team as well, and so we hope that FIBA and the EuroLeague reach an agreement”, Mr Ivanov said.
The VTB United League is a basketball tournament founded in 2008 and bringing together leading clubs from Eastern and Northern Europe. The 2015–2016 season, which began on October 3, 2015, is the seventh, involving 16 clubs from Russia, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Finland, and Georgia.