The BBL’s clubs have been given assurances that they will remain in basketball’s Premier League, regardless of the outcome of the review into the way the sport is funded.

A statement, jointly issued by the British Basketball League and Basketball England, has confirmed that the national governing body will no longer take the lead in talks with potential American investors – with a new negotiation committee to be established with representatives from the clubs, as well as all three home nations and the incoming British Basketball Federation.

“It is evident that the sport of basketball has the potential to access significant new investment,” said the statement. “Basketball England will coordinate the formation of a negotiation team, with representatives from across the sport, including from the professional BBL clubs, and with expert financial and legal support.

“The team will initiate detailed discussions with BBallUK about their investment proposal, the terms of accessing the investment, any risks, risk mitigations, and the management and governance arrangements of any revised League structure. The negotiation team will also consider, in due course, other investment options, as appropriate.

“In any event, Basketball England and the professional clubs will ensure that there is a Pro League in the UK for the 2015-2016 season and, to that end, detailed planning will continue for the new season, in parallel with this consideration of new investment options.”

The move follows the submission of recommendations to Basketball England from its Licence Review Committee on the professional game.

It is understood that the group, led by Lord Wasserman, has opted to focus on a narrow band of proposals to raise standards due to the narrow time scale set.

Basketball England’s board met on Monday to initially discuss the report produced. But its oversight could be limited with sources telling MVP that both chairman Jan Hagen and chief executive Huw Morgan are expected to vacate their posts in the wake of their involvement in what has turned out to be a fractious move to pursue third-party investment through a financial vehicle controlled by Morgan himself. An BE spokesperson stated on Tuesday, however, that both currently remain in situ.

The proposal – underwritten by New York-based equity fund GEM Investments – is currently being examined by the BBL’s financial advisors and is predicated on earning a 10-year license for the commercial and administrative rights for basketball in Britain.

Yet, a number of assumptions, including obtaining average crowds of 6000 by Year 3 and the ticket sales and revenue generated by a British Euroleague entrant, were described as “pie in the sky” by one BBL source with knowledge of the framework, with the initial £36 million placed on the table now thought to be an absolute maximum if the numbers stacked up.

It is expected that other investment routes will also be considered in the weeks ahead before any firm decisions are taken.

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