ACCOUNT CLAIMS DENIED

The former directors of the British Basketball Federation have denied the claims of Basketball Scotland’s chair that their annual accounts were not filed as required.

In the latest sign that the vociferous debate over the home nations approach to taking control of the BBF is far from over, MVP has seen a sign-off for the accounts which were provided to Companies House less than six weeks after Ed Warner was brought in as interim chair at the governing body.

It runs counter to claims from Scotland’s David Davies that the BBF was “unable to sign off on its annual accounts” and that England, Scotland and Wales took the decision to re-align the federation in order to “finally move to sign off the BBF accounts.”

It is understood that Warner and his now-former co-director and Basketball Scotland representative Andrew Warrington signed off on the returns on 24 June with Companies House’s database confirming they are currently being processed.

“The claims are simply untrue,” said one British basketball figure with knowledge of the procedure.

Meanwhile it has been alleged that the three home country associations broke the existing articles of association of the BBF in calling an Extraordinary General Meeting last Thursday to strip the organisation of its regulatory powers.

There have been questions asked about the manner of the actions taken by the three HCA chairs who, sources say, failed to notify their respective boards about the manoeuvre in advance.

However in a letter sent to the Sports Minister Tracey Crouch and copied to UK Sport and Sport England by a number of the deposed BBF board, it has been claimed that the move was unconstitutional because one home country – thought to be Scotland – owed monies to the federation.

The letter writes: “Because of the actions of the HCAs, the BBF is now non-compliant with the sports governance code. Clearly, this has significant implications for any public monies now being transferred to it.”

Basketball England chair Clare Wardle was unavailable for comment.

It not yet known whether FIBA will intervene in de facto takeover of one of its members. Article 129 of the BBF’s Articles allows the global governing body to mediate disputes in between the Federation and its constituent associations.

BBL adopting wait and see approach

Meanwhile British Basketball League director Kevin Routledge says it is vital peace breaks out in the sport or opportunities will be lost.

It is thought increasingly unlikely that the BBL will agree to co-locate with a reconstituted and scaled-down BBF at their offices in Leicester despite the concept’s inclusion in plans put forward by the home nations.

However Routledge, who was at the centre of political discussions which brokered government funds to help the sport, believes a resolution must be found.

“It’s important that people set a course so that everyone works together to develop basketball at an elite level,” the Leicester Riders chair said.

“The Minister asked what we needed and what we could do. Developing commercial income for the GB teams is critical. The BBL will be supportive of that but we want to see what is on the table next.”

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