Break­ers own­ers look­ing to sell up

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - BAS­KET­BALL

New Zealand Break­ers own­ers Paul and Liz Black­well will re­lin­quish their con­trol­ling stake in the bas­ket­ball club in an at­tempt to bring in new in­vestors.

The Break­ers are cur­rently en­joy­ing the high of a record start to any sea­son, sit­ting on top of the ANBL lad­der with an eight-win, one-loss record – those eight suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries in­clud­ing Sun­day night’s win over near­est ri­vals, the Wild­cats in Perth.

Paul and Liz Black­well have owned the club since 2005, but have de­cided the time is right for new in­vestors to lead the club as it and the league con­tinue to grow.

Paul Black­well says this cur­rent sea­son will be their last at the helm and be­lieves it’s a de­ci­sion based on what’s best for the club.

‘‘We have thought about this long and hard and spo­ken with those close to us and the club,’’ Black­well said.

‘‘We be­lieve the tim­ing is per­fect for us to make this de­ci­sion and more im­por­tantly, for a new ma­jor­ity owner to lead the club into what prom­ises to be an ex­cit­ing new phase as the ANBL con­tin­ues to grow and de­velop.

‘‘This means sell­ing our con­trol­ling stake in the club to the right in­vestors who can bring cap­i­tal and re­newed vigor to en­sure the Break­ers’ on­go­ing suc­cess. Every­one that knows our story knows that our goals al­ways have been very much com­mu­nity fo­cused.

‘‘Yes, we have pur­sued on court suc­cess and we have achieved more than we ever dreamed of, with four cham­pi­onships and five grand fi­nal ap­pear­ances over the past seven years.

‘‘But for us the main goal was to build a club that gives back to its com­mu­nity, one that young New Zealan­ders can look up to, a club that sets an ex­am­ple and pro­vides a path­way for play­ers, coaches and ad­min­is­tra­tors to grow and de­velop.

‘‘The time is right for new in­vestors to help lead and move the club for­ward with a re­newed com­mer­cial fo­cus. The NBL is go­ing ahead in leaps and bounds, the club must move with it and we have made the de­ci­sion now to en­sure the on­go­ing suc­cess and growth of the club.’’

ANBL ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Larry Kestel­man ac­knowl­edged the role the Black­wells and the Break­ers have played in both the ANBL and the New Zealand sport­ing land­scape.

‘‘Paul and Liz have done an in­cred­i­ble job build­ing the Break­ers and the club is an in­te­gral part of the ANBL and our fu­ture plans to con­tinue build suc­cess on both sides of the Tas­man,’’ he said.

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