Creditors have voted to liquidate the Illawarra Hawks’ assets as the NBL fights to give its last remaining foundation club hope for the future.
The NBL remains steadfast in its bid to find a buyer for the beleaguered Illawarra Hawks franchise despite creditors voting to liquidate the club’s assets.
The Hawks have outstanding debts of more than $2 million and owe about $750,000 to staff and players who have been stood down since April.
It leaves the league’s last remaining foundation club facing another huge fight for survival after a turbulent few years in which ownership has changed hands multiple times.
The NBL took back the licence from previous owners Simon and Wendy Stratford last month and has repeatedly insisted it will pay outstanding player salaries.
The league has offered three remaining contracted Hawks players – Sunday Dech, Sam Froling and Angus Glover – the chance to fulfil those deals next season.
But it remains to be seen if the league will honour the contracts of coach Matt Flinn and other club staff.
The NBL on Monday confirmed it is still in talks with multiple parties that could take over the Hawks licence.
“The NBL is committed to the Hawks remaining in the league and we are continuing to talk to a number of interested parties to find the next owners of the club,” a league statement to AAP said.
The list of possible suitors still includes American teenager LaMelo Ball, whose business manager Jermaine Jackson last month incorrectly claimed the Ball group had purchased the club.
The error was later blamed on a miscommunication between long-time Hawks sponsor Tory Lavalle and Ball’s camp.
The Hawks finished in last position last season but enjoyed some success off the court, largely due to top NBA draft prospect Ball’s arrival as part of the NBL Next Stars program.
The 18-year-old drove huge crowd numbers around the country but managed to play only 12 games before succumbing to injury.