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PHOENIX RISES AS CHESHIRE FIND OWNERS
- Updated: November 29, 2012
Cheshire will continue to host BBL basketball after the franchise was secured by a fan-led consortium – and renamed the Phoenix.
It comes a month after its future was placed into doubt after the Jets, and its owner Haydn Cook, were stripped of their franchise due to financial difficulties.
Cook has sold the name to a third-party company but the new entity is led by local businessmen Terry Hearfield and Andrew Donaldson alongside Jets Mike Burton and Andy Green.
But the Phoenix will now assume the place of its predecessor in the league after being run by the BBL while a buyer was sought.
“We are delighted that the new ownership has been found and particularly from within the supporter base,” BBL COO Andy Webb said.
“We believe that having a grouping involved who care so passionately about the club but with the necessary business acumen will ensure its longevity and help to build a sustainable future.”
“We’d like to put on record our thanks for the invaluable support of the club’s superb volunteer base during our time running the club.”
Donaldson credited the supporter base for saving Cheshire from extinction.
‘The volunteers, the players, the fans and the local community have really pulled together to enable the club to survive,” he said. “We are looking forward to rebuilding the club on firm foundations and hope to repeat some of the clubs past successes, this is what we have all been working towards and it’s what the fans deserve.’
The new owners’ first game will come on Friday as Phoenix travel to Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park looking to complete a season sweep over Mersey Tigers. Phoenix’s first home game under the new ownership will come on Sunday when they face reigning BBL champions Newcastle Eagles at the Northgate Arena, with the game scheduled to tip off at 5:30PM.