Elan Béarnais, the basketball club of Pau-Orthez, will be demoted administratively. His commitment for the 2022-2023 season in the French ProA championship, as well as at the lower level, the ProB, was refused for financial reasons, the National Basketball League announced on Thursday June 22.
In a press release, the body mentions “the lack of guarantee [financière] regarding the continuity of the club’s operations”while adding that he had “the possibility of making a request for a free appeal before the Higher Management Council to contest this decision”.
If the decision were to be confirmed, the club would thus be forced to leave the professional national level and would be demoted to the federal amateur level.
Élan Béarnais is a historic French basketball club with nine French championship titles and a European cup in 1984. It won the Coupe de France this year and was a semi-finalist in the French ProA championship.
Control of the club was ceded a year ago by the urban community of Pau-Pyrénées, the city of Pau and the Community of Communes of Lacq-Orthez to the American investment fund Counterpointe Sports Group, now the majority shareholder.
According to the National Directorate of Consulting and Management Control, the financial policeman of the National League, the club has a strong operating loss. The daily “The Republic of the Pyrenees” had mentioned, in mid-May, an operating deficit of more than 2 million euros out of a budget of 7.8 million. We asked that the net situation be at least in balance “, had explained at the beginning of the week to the team Philippe Ausseur, president of the DNCG.