BBL’s future is left in jeopardy with launch of review
THE future of the British Basketball League – and with it the fate of Glasgow Rocks – has been placed in doubt after its right to operate was placed under immediate review.
Basketball England have confirmed plans to review the license for the country’s top-flight division which has been independently run by its member franchises since 1987.
The timing of the move, described last night as “a power play” by one BBL official, has taken many by surprise with several functions of both Basketball England and Basketball Scotland due to pass to a new UK-wide federation next year.
With the existing arrangements due to expire in August, a four-person committee has been handed a wide range of options for them to explore, including handing the top tier to a commercial operator – with at least one American company previously signalling its interest in setting up a series of centrally-owned teams from scratch.
“Our singular objective is to see the licence awarded to the organisation with a deliverable plan most likely to take the sport to the next level,” Basketball England chairman Jan Hagen confirmed.
Any change could see some or all of the BBL’s 13 existing teams left out in the cold, with the Rocks deriving their right to take part through an affiliation with the Sheffield-based governing body which has only recently emerged from a period of financial and administrative turmoil that saw a large chunk of its government funding removed.
“We will need to digest the plans before deciding on where we sit,” said Glasgow Rocks chairman Ian Reid yesterday.
“But our intention would be that the Rocks will continue and that we will expect to be involved in whatever plans ensue – and remain one of the premier basketball franchises in the UK.”