This year, the Czech Republic will not be represented by the runner up of the Czech championship. Eagles Praha has announced to denounce participation. As a result, multiple Czech champion Draci Brno will take the place of Eagles Praha.
According to the Czech baseball website Milujeme baseball, which is Czech for we love baseball, Eagles Praha (Prague) has decided to pull back due to financial reasons.
In previous years the winner of the Czech Cup was the representative at the CEB cup. But as the Czech Cup was canceled last year the runner up in the Czech championship would be the representative.
Eagles Praha head coach, Vladimír Chlup stated: “Yes, finance plays a big role in our decision. Likely we would not be strong enough to win this tournament and secure a spot in next year’s European Champions Cup for the Czech Republic. Now we will root for Draci Brno to do it.”
As participating in a tournament like the CEB Cup or the European Champions Cup is a costly matter, clubs like to organize it themselves as it saves them the travel cost and costs of a hotel. On average, participating in the CEB cup will cost a club between €12,000 and €16,000.
According to officials of the club from the Czech capital, it wasn’t an easy decision. They don’t get the chance to face European clubs every day. For Draci (Dragons) Brno, it wasn’t an easy decision either. The club didn’t expect this at all and they had to look if a trip to Sénart, where the CEB Cup will be held, would fit in their budget.
To prevent the Eagles from having created a precedent, Milujeme baseball comes with a nice solution. “The first participants of the Extraleague championship could receive an amount from the Czech Baseball Association for these cups (example: 250,000 Czech Krones for the winner and 200,000 Czech Krones for the loser ). However, this amount must be linked to participation in the European Cups. If a club refuses to participate, its replacement would get the amount and the denouncing club would also has to contribute 50,000 Czech Krones to the participating club from its budget. This would limit any effort to financially exhaust the potential rival in extra-league battles.”
Unfortunately, this shows that baseball is still a small sport in the Czech Republic even though the level of the game is improving over there.