Paul Blake 568Paul Blake is to step down as chairman of the British Basketball League after nearly a decade, to be replaced by Ed Percival as a new independent chair. 

Percival brings with him skills and expertise from his work as senior member of Shirlaws – a global business coaching organisation – as well as previously serving as a board member of the BBL Foundation.

It comes as Blake, the owner of Newcastle Eagles, steps aside, having led moves to build a new non-executive board as well as a growing commercial presence.

“The BBL clubs provide exciting sporting entertainment and the professional game is progressing year on year,” Percival said.

“The basketball community is also growing rapidly and the BBL events team, led by (Chief Operating Officer) Andy Webb, always puts on compelling Finals. I am thrilled to be engaged.”

Joining Percival on the new Executive Committee will be sports lawyer Simon Vumbaca who has an extensive background in media rights as well as working with national federations and athletes.

His expertise might prove invaluable with the league currently looking for a new television deal, with Sky Sports and BT both understood to have held talks to screen domestic basketball from the new season.

“I am delighted to have been asked to continue assisting the BBL in its continued development and it is with great pleasure that I accepted the position,” he said.

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