DAVIES DEFENDS BBF MAKEOVER

Basketball Scotland chair David Davies has finally broken his silence over last week’s coup.

The controversial move to take control by the three home nations has now led to the resignations of all but two members of the board of the British Basketball Federation with Scotland’s representative Andrew Warrington also quitting on Monday.

Davies, the former Queens Park Rangers supremo, was at the centre of the plot that saw peace talks with the current regime abruptly called off, an hour before a vote was taken to strip the BBF of many of its powers.

Davies claimed that the federation was on the brink of financial collapse despite a £500,000 bailout provided by the Treasury.

And he underlined that proposals to help fund the running of Great Britain’s national teams by imposing a membership levy on Basketball Scotland, England and Wales were simply perceived as a step too far.

“Our response from Day 1 right through to the resignations last week was quite simple: we won’t damage the financial position of basketball in Scotland to fund an operation that is not prepared to reflect on the fact that a number of its current practices are clearly not working, and without assurances that Scottish players, coaches and officials will have equal opportunity to develop and be successful,” Davies said.

“Their response at every turn, I’m saddened to say, has been out of touch with financial realities and the circumstances of the membership of players and associations that the BBF exists to serve. As a result, the associations of England and Scotland and Wales felt it necessary to re-align the role of BBF, so we can get back to concentrating on basketball and not politics, and finally move to sign off the BBF accounts, an action that is necessary to ensure that the remainder of the much-needed UK Government’s short-term financial package can be delivered.

“It will also allow us to get back to working closely with the many BBF staff, GB volunteers and players who show immense dedication, passion and loyalty to the sport.”

International governing body FIBA are understood to be concerned about the latest outbreak of in-fighting within the sport in the UK with the possibility of imposing a suspension from international competition if governance rules are found to have been broken.

But Davies refuted claims, made by a number of figures including outgoing performance director Mark Clark, that the three home countries’ cost-cutting measures signal the death of any ambition for the GB sides.

“We will need to regroup,” he said, in a length statement. “But being pragmatic does not stop us from being ambitious for the sport we love. At its heart, our vision is for GB basketball to be successful on and off the court.

“Our immediate focus will be on keeping GB teams playing, reducing management overheads and working to develop the sport from a strong foundation.”

Clare Wardle, Basketball England’s chair, has refused to speak on her reasons for her approach to the BBF overhaul. Multiple requests for an interview by MVP were declined.

Pic: Mansoor Ahmed

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