BBL TO EXTEND OPERATING LICENSE
- Updated: November 30, 2016
The British Basketball League is set to land a new ten-year license to run the UK’s top division, it has been revealed.
Although a final operating agreement will not be signed off until spring, discussions with the newly-empowered British Basketball Federation have led to a provisional deal to retain the present structure of the premier league.
It is understood the proposed contract will impose much tougher conditions on BBL member clubs, especially in running a tighter financial and administrative ship, as well as terms on venue capacity, player welfare and coaching standards.
The outline for the ten-year license was approved by the BBF Board on 25 November and by the BBL Board on 29 November.
“We are delighted to reach this agreement with the BBL, and look forward to working with them to finalise a license which will improve the professionalism and standards of the men’s club game in a clear and systematic way, with the whole of the sport united around a number of common objectives,” said BBF interim chairman Bill McInnes.
“Those objectives, which support the strategy developed for basketball in Britain earlier this year, include improving the commercialism and marketability of the club game, but also the opportunities for young British players, with a positive impact on the Great Britain teams.
“There is still work to be done to get all the detail agreed but we have been pleased with the approach of the top clubs to working together to drive the sport forward.”
The BBL was first awarded a separate contract to run an independent top tier in 1987 by the then-English Basketball Association.
Responsibility for the license award was passed to the BBF last year following revelations, uncovered by MVP, that Basketball England directors were behind a plan to take over the franchise with American backing.
Since the previous agreement expired, a series of one-year deals had been put in place despite calls from some club owners to accelerate the re-tendering process.
Now, the end line is in sight.
“This is an important milestone for the sport of basketball, and we are delighted with the progress so far to get a long-term license in place,” said BBL chairman Sir Rodney Walker said.
“We have already seen some important commercial developments in the men’s professional game with the recent media deals with the BBC and the Perform Group, in addition to existing and extended commercial partnerships with Molten, Kappa, Genius Sports, Synergy and Tickets.com.
“The certainty these arrangements will provide, and the commitment of all parties to work together to drive up standards and the professionalism of the sport, can only be good for basketball. But this is the start of the journey and there remains much work to be done.”
A separate agreement remains under discussion over the operation of the Women’s British Basketball League.