BBL’s fu­ture is left in jeop­ardy with launch of re­view

The Herald - Sport - - GOLF - MARK WOODS

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.”

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