HOME NATIONS STAGE BBF COUP

Great Britain’s teams will have their budgets drastically cut after the home nations pushed through what is effectively a reverse takeover of British Basketball Federation.

The move, MVP has learnt, was executed in a de facto coup with scheduled peace talks in London between BBF representatives and members of the three home nations РBasketball England, Scotland and Wales Р cancelled at eight minutes notice on Thursday morning, with England chair Clare Wardle opting instead to call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the BBF at the UK headquarters of Coca Cola some 80 minutes later.

Those present from the home nations, who held the power to take the unprecedented measure, are understood to have altered the BBF’s articles of association, stripping the FIBA-sanctioned federation of its regulatory powers and its ability to impose membership levies.

That, as a consequence, means that the three were able to push through their reduced-cost plan for the GB teams rather than the BBF-endorsed tie-up with the BBL.

British Basketball chair Ed Warner said, “It is a sad day that further negotiations have been rejected by the HCAs and it is an especially sad day for Great Britain teams whose players were exceptionally brave in coming forward on Monday evening and who will now suffer diminished support and prospects.”

“The board of British Basketball will comment further in due course.”

Wardle, who is not thought to have gained approval from Basketball England’s full board before taking the measure, was unavailable for comment. David Davies, Scotland’s representative who was present at the venue where the talks were planned before departing for the EGM, declined to speak to MVP when reached by phone.

Ultimately, it leaves domestic basketball scoring, to borrow a football analogy, another own goal in terms of its ability to work cohesively together, no matter the pros and cons of the plans placed on the table.

The rifts caused will not be easy to mend, especially with GB’s players who only four days ago issued their own stern critique of a plan that will see the Under-20 teams scrapped and the BBF reduced to a single full-time staff member.

In a statement, Basketball England said: “The Home Country Associations of England, Scotland and Wales, as the members of the British Basketball Federation (BBF), have agreed the appropriate level of budget for British Basketball for the next two years.

“This agreement is a key component in ongoing discussions to protect and grow the future of British Basketball.

“We will continue to work closely with the BBF Board, the British Basketball League (BBL), alongside strong support from the Minister for Sport, Tracey Crouch, Alex Sobel MP, Sir Mike Penning MP, UK Sport and Sport England to get a clear and agreed way forward.”

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