DThe Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) is awarded a wildcard for the upcoming season. The clubs agreed with a “large majority”, BBL announced on Tuesday. Because there will only be one sporty climber from Pro A with Rostock or Jena, the free right to participate will be occupied by a wildcard. Among the 1st division clubs, there should have been three dissenting votes in the written vote.
Fraport Skyliners will apply for the wildcard. Due to the relegation to second-class Pro A, Frankfurt’s total budget would “fall by a considerable amount, it could be up to two million euros,” major shareholder Gunnar Wöbke said in a press conference on Tuesday. For the first time in their more than 20-year club history, the Hessians failed to stay in the league. Skyliners won only nine out of 34 matches.
The wildcard procedure is expected to begin on Monday next week. The clubs that apply then have ten days to prove their financial viability. As in the many years before, the Skyliners had received the Bundesliga license without conditions for the 23rd time. Therefore, they “only” have to prove that they can withdraw the 700,000 euros needed for the wildcard. “We came up with a lot of ideas. The fact is, we need that extra money because we were already tight this year,” Wöbke said of the budget.
After the applications have been checked in the wildcard procedure, the shareholders’ meeting of BBL GmbH makes the final decision on whether an applicant or which applicant obtains the right to participate. The Giessen 46ers, who are number two relegated from the Bundesliga, can no longer apply for the next five years because they have already used a wildcard for the current season.
BBL should have a keen interest in keeping Frankfurt as the top spot. And the Skylines must also think in perspective. So the immediate resurgence would probably not be a sure success. Due to the competitive situation in Pro A, even clubs with decent budgets – at the top it should be around three million euros – have previously missed their season goals. “The second division plays very good basketball,” Wöbke said. The people of Frankfurt could not afford to be second class for two or three years. The main partners and sponsors would also support Skyliners financially in the second division, “we have existing contracts with the major sponsors,” the major shareholder said. But they have already in one case signaled to the club management that they would rather see Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. Therefore, they should also help Skyliners withdraw the amount owed for the wild card. that.