A row has broken out between the leading women’s clubs and the British Basketball Federation, MVP has learnt.

The governing body is attempting to extract an annual licence fee from each franchise in the Women’s British Basketball League, in a similar manner to a deal struck previously the BBL.

It is understood that the proposed fee has dropped from an initial £1,000 annually to £600 but the idea has been roundly rejected, with such a financial contribution not thought to have been specified in the existing operating licence for the WBBL.

“The governing body should be giving back to the clubs, not the other way round,” said one club executive. “None of the teams are making any money so all they’re doing is making it harder for them to run.”

The BBF remains cash-strapped despite additional funds provided by UK Sport to finance the Great Britain’s women’s team ahead of this summer’s EuroBasket and it recently asked the staff of the men’s side to work for free.

Presently, its lone guarantor is Basketball England – whose board have been vocal in their reluctance to finance the national federation. Scotland and Wales have declined to contribute, with the new home nations’ collective in charge unable to leverage any significant sponsorship or media revenues during their initial period in charge.

Yet the BBF’s chair Maurice Watkins has defended the move to pursue the WBBL as a possible revenue stream.

“Insofar as the terms of that are concerned, we’re working on it closely at the moment,” he said. “We want to come to the right decision on that. Bear in mind, we’ve got a sport that’s a combination of all these different parts.”

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