Pro League starts investigation into American takeover of Liège

Liège in action on November 26 against Antwerp Giants. — © BELGIUM

The takeover of Liège by American investors continues to reverberate in the Belgian basketball world. The American Ernie Cambo cleared the debts of the Liège club, provided a capital injection and promptly became chairman of the club. Since Liège is a non-profit organization, it is not the owner. Ernie Cambo is also a founding member of the Mickael Sports Group. Pete Mickael himself is CEO of the Mickael Sports Group and is also a player agent, including Royce Hamm of Antwerp Giants. The Pro League is now starting an investigation into whether the takeover at Liège went correctly.

Patrick Ceulemans

In addition to signing three Americans, including the son of Ernie Cambo (Anthony), Avelon John Jr, Jamelle Hagins, a Puerto Rican (Angel Rodriguez) and an American coach Brad Steenberg and an Israeli assistant Daniel Gutt, Liège also brought Belgian Lion Kevin Tumba away from Brussels. By law, but the club from the capital rightly denounced the fact that Liège broke through the “gentlemen’s agreement” and did not first inform Brussels that it wanted to approach Tumba.

Royce Hamm did not return to Belgium last week. Hamm is an American center at Antwerp Giants and his agent is … Pete Mickeal. His agency indicated that after the death of grandfather he is not mentally ready to take office again. However, he was negotiating with Besiktas Istanbul, among others.


“We play against Liège three times this month. This is a move to destabilize our club, a form of competition distortion, so to speak,” the Giants said. “Incidentally, in November we gave Royce Hamm permission (ten days, ed.) to attend his grandfather’s funeral, continued to pay his wages correctly and, on the other hand, proposed to bring his grandmother to Belgium. We also offered to talk to a mental coach. Something he didn’t think was necessary. I think that as clubs we have done everything to guide Royce Hamm well,” said general manager Eddy Faus of Telenet Giants Antwerp. “By the way, there was no buy-out in his contract and this is therefore a breach of contract. There is clearly a smell to the takeover of Liège, where Hamm’s agent is also involved,” said Eddy Faus.

Thierry Wilquin, who is also a board member of the BNXT League in addition to manager of Bergen, confirmed that the League will launch an investigation. “Antwerp Giants has every reason to ask questions about this matter. The league will investigate whether there is any distortion of competition and whether the takeover of Liege has been done correctly in accordance with FIBA ​​regulations. What happened to Antwerp Giants can happen to all our clubs. We must respond.”

Rode Lantaarn Liège, which will once again perform in the Country Hall, will receive champion and leader Ostend tonight as part of the twelfth matchday of the BetFirst BNXT League. With for the first time… his five new players and coaching staff!

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