The History of the SNB - The Union's Defining Moments
The current situation in 2016: Serving the Players
In the 2015/2016 season, union participation reached an all time high, with an 88% membership rate among French basketball players in both the Pro A and Pro B leagues. This is representation that no longer warrants demonstration as work sites and projects are multiplying (Thierry Rupert, training of 1st aid players, retraining and partnership).
Currently, the SNB action is based on communication with the players and the development of new communication media intended for players.
2013 – 3 years of work rewarded
As Aymeric JEANNEAU was called on to undertake new responsibilities within a club following his decision to end his professional career, naturally, he had to resign as president of the SNB. This is what he decided to do in 2013.
At 2014's general assembly, Johan PASSAVE-DUCTEIL was elected president of the SNB. Along with a new president, the assembly inducted two vice presidents in Dounia ISSA and Jesse DELHOMME and set up representative executive committees of players in ProA, ProB and NM1. For the first time in the SNB's history, this executive committee also included foreign players.
The 2013/2014 season marked a turning point for the SNB. It became representative in the sports field following the publication of an order from the Ministry of Works (October 2013) by the intermediary of the FNASS, representative in the sports field. In addition, it considerably increased its representativeness in basketball by passing the 70% membership level in the LNB for the first time.
Under the presidency of Johan Passave-Ducteil, the SNB development project took on another dimension with the recruitment of several employees to facilitate the support of players.
2010 - A future to build
For professional reasons, Mohammed SY decided to resign as president of the SNB after only one year. He was replaced by Aymeric JEANNEAU who was then vice president of the SNB.
The proof of Mohammed SY's attachment to the SNB is that he did not want to sever all ties with them as he is the President of BASKET PROMOTION, in charge of helping and supporting players with any questions concerning their retraining or dual career. He was the one who, during his presidency, wanted to get this structure working again for the assistance of players.
With three presidents in three years it was important for the SNB to find real stability. This was the task that Aymeric JEANNEAU tackled. First of all, he did this by reinforcing the presence of the SNB close to the players in the clubs with two annual visits and by emphasising education programms for the players in training centres.
2009 - After threats, the strike
The reform concerning nationalities in the professional championships was Mohammed SY's battle. He decided to launch two wide-ranging actions:
- Mobilisation of all the PRO A and PRO B players during the 25th day of championship home matches (refusal to play the first two possessions of all the matches)
- A press conference organised by the SNB with the selected players for the 2009 ALL STAR GAME.
Two highly symbolic actions that would put the SNB back on the list of stakeholders who count in French basketball. Few club managers thought that the SNB could mobilise all the players. The result of these actions was convincing. As of the following season, there was a change in the rules concerning the number of foreign players in PRO A and PRO B.
2007 - The transition
In 2007, Maurice BEYINA decided to resign as president of the SNB. He handed over to Yann BARBITCH, member since 1991, to ensure the transition until a new president was found. It was Mohammed SY who became the president of the SNB in 2008. The first major project since the negotiation of the collective agreement was the establishment of the status of locally trained players in the professional championships.
2003 - The rebirth
Maurice BEYINA, who was then a Pro A professional player, decided to take the SNB in hand. His objective was simple: bring basketball players back to heart of the social dialogue, defend their rights and let their voices be heard among the authorities (federation and league). From the beginning the task was difficult because the SNB had lost their legitimacy with the players and the league. It was by increasing the interventions and follow-ups that Maurice BEYINA, with the support of the FNASS (French National Federation of Sports Associations and Unions), united many professional players for a special meeting during the LNB (National Basketball League) finals in May 2003. This union was the founding act for the rebirth of the SNB.
The first step in this recovery strategy was the recognition of the SNB by the LNB as a social partner. Since the discussions were at a standstill, the SNB decided to organise a mobilisation of the players for the December 2003 ALL STAR GAME, if no negotiations were scheduled.
In January 2004 the SNB was officially recognised by the LNB and obtained a place on the league's executive board, a place which it still holds today. Maurice BEYINA, who was president of the SNB until 2007, notably negotiated and signed the first collective agreement for professional basketball during his term of office in 2005. Even though it has been modified since then, the collective agreement is still applicable today.
1997 - Loss of dynamism
After several years of struggling and combat, it became increasingly difficult for the SNB to make itself heard. 1997 was a turning point. The impact of the SNB on players started to decrease, mainly due to two factors:
- Loss of the partnership with Panini
- The BOSMAN ruling
Up until that date, the majority of the revenues generated by the SNB came from a commercial agreement with Panini which used the individual pictures of the players to make their cards. With the loss of this financial manna, the SNB was obliged to terminate the contract with their only administrative employee and suddenly lost the privileged relationship they had built with their members.
The impact of the BOSMAN ruling also had unexpected consequences on the SNB. With the massive increase in the number of foreign players in the professional championships, the SNB suddenly lost their base of regular members. It was actually more complicated to convince foreign players to join.
With a decrease in the number of players, a loss of financial autonomy and a certain loss of interest by players to invest in the cause of the union, it did not take much more for the SNB to become inactive.
1988 - The beginning
On April 6, 1988 the CCHN (French High Level Club Committee) forerunners of the UCPB (French National Basketball Club Union) including National 1A and 1B clubs, which are the two professional divisions, decided to make a contract of a minimum of 3 years compulsory for players across the board.
The best players targeted by the measure considered it unacceptable and on 25 April at the end of the Limoges-Orthez match, 4 players (R. DACOURY, S. OSTROWSKI, F. HUFFNAGEL and D. HAQUET) called a press conference and indicated their disagreement. In light of this proposal, they also wanted to be involved in decisions by the league and to finally create an organisation to represent them.
On 9 May the SNBP (French National Basketball Professionals' Union) project was presented to the press. It would finally be called the SNB (French National Basketball Union) after R. BUSNEL, then President of the FIBA (World Basketball Association), intervened and had talks with J. MONCLAR, reminding him that basketball was still an 'amateur' game in Europe.
The constitutive meeting was held at the INSEP (French National Institute of Sport and Physical Education) on 19 May, 1988 and J. MONCLAR was elected as the 1st President of the SNB. He was accompanied by other players such as S. OSTROWSKI, G. BEUGNOT, R. DACOURY as well as C. MONSCHAU.
1983 - The foundations
In 1983, J. CACHEMIRE tried to mobilise basketball players by creating the UNJBB (French National Basketball Players' Union) but this attempt to unite the players failed due to a lack of motivation.