BBL LOGO 568The British Basketball League has approved a change of ownership for the Surrey BBL franchise which will be re-named Surrey United.

It will be a joint venture between Surrey Sports Park and London United, who previously were in charge of a failed franchise in the league.

In a statement, the new ownership said: “We are well aware of the history of the Surrey BBL franchise and the vital role played by the fans. There are a large number of people in Surrey  who not only enjoy watching top level basketball but who actively contribute to the club with their knowledge and expertise. It is our aim to repay these fans by providing them with a programme which not only provides a competitive BBL team but also provides for the local community whilst continuing to work with the existing fans.”

It comes weeks after it was confirmed Surrey Heat’s owner Alison Reeve had agreed to sell the club to United’s chief Jack Majewski – with long-time coach Creon Raftopoulos immediately sacked from his role.

And while there are fears that the club will eventually seek to move into London, Paul Blanchard of Surrey Sports Parks insisted it will be staying put.

“We are excited to be part of this new partnership which has secured the long-term stability of a professional BBL team in Surrey,” he said.

“Surrey has some of the most passionate basketball fans in the country and we hope they will unite behind this new franchise and continue to support the long history of top-level basketball in the county.”

Andy Webb, Chief Operating Officer of the BBL, confirmed the change had been approved by the league’s franchise committee.

“The BBL believes the franchise has been strengthened by the changes and we look forward to working with the new Board. There is a significant opportunity for the increased growth of basketball in the Surrey area, and we believe the additional resources this transaction enables will help make that happen.”

Surrey have yet to name a replacement for Raftopoulos, or signed any players for the forthcoming campaign.

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