Cash-strapped Gold Coast Blaze pull out of NBL
The National Basketball League has been reduced to an eight-team competition after the cash-strapped Gold Coast Blaze chose to withdraw from the league.
After going into voluntary administration earlier this year, the club’s owners were given until July 13 to demonstrate they could meet all necessary licensing requirements, including financial stability.
Basketball Australia (BA) supported the community ownership model the Blaze proposed, as long as they could prove they had secured funding by the extended deadline of July 31.
BA said, however, the $500,000 from a “mystery supporter” and more than $1 million in revenue from sponsors and other sources which could not be verified by the club simply “won’t cut it”.
So, late on Tuesday night, the club’s owners advised BA that they had decided to withdraw from the NBL.
“To be frank, this is hugely disappointing – it’s unfortunate for the club’s players and fans that the owners have made the decision to withdraw from the NBL,” acting BA chief executive Scott Derwin said in statement on Wednesday.
“The BA board appreciates that the club’s owners have put in enormous effort to keep the Blaze alive under difficult circumstances.
“But we make no apologies for insisting on tangible and detailed confirmation of funding streams or for holding the Blaze accountable to the same financial scrutiny applied to all of our NBL clubs.”
As a result of the Blaze’s decision, eight teams will make up the 2012/13 NBL Championship competition – the Adelaide 36ers, Cairns Taipans, Melbourne Tigers, New Zealand Breakers, Perth Wildcats, Sydney Kings, Townsville Crocodiles and Wollongong Hawks.
The season will still begin on October 5 and feature 24 rounds as previously announced with a revised schedule set to be released on Friday.© AAP 2013
The Roar is giving you the chance to win 1 of 19 prize packs to Australian Open 2014! Each lucky winner will receive four evening tickets to Rod Laver Arena, plus access to 3 hours in the Heineken VIP Bar. Enter here.