British Basketball League chiefs are poised to reject the proposed £36 million takeover of the sport tabled by Wall Street-backed BBall UK, MVP can reveal.

It comes amid claims a number of alternative investors are waiting in the wings to plump money into the sport.

Although dialogue continues with a consortium backed by New York-based equity fund GEM, the tide is understood to have switched against accepting an offer which would have also seen them acquire the marketing rights of the Great Britain national teams, as well as the commercial arm of the home nations and the soon-to-be formed British Basketball Federation.

While the scale of the returns required – and widespread criticism over the involvement of now-former Basketball England CEO Huw Morgan – heaped huge initial scepticism on the idea, a working group was formed to undertake the necessary due diligence.

However strongest critics of the plans are urging the focus to shift towards bringing in fresh cash from elsewhere.

“I do expect there to be changes in the status quo and the Rocks would like to see new external investment coming into the BBL but we don’t support proposals that cede control of the sport to overseas investors, irrespective of the identity of the buyer,” Glasgow Rocks co-owner David Low, a member of the oversight committee, confirmed.

“Neither will we support any proposal that is entirely dependent on financial returns to the investor nor any that seek their objectives through coercion. Sport is more than a commodity to be bought and sold or put at risk if the financial returns don’t materialise. There are other considerations have to be taken into account as well.

“Professional basketball in the UK should remain community and fan-focused and affordable. Football in the UK has sold its soul for profit and we don’t want to see that happen with basketball.”

The recent takeover of Australia’s National Basketball League has drawn parallels with its British counterpart with a global interest in putting money into basketball in the hope of realising even a slice of the massive returns achieved amid the growth and expansion of the NBA.

But, as with BBall UK’s deal, it comes with a price tag attached, one reason why other options are now set for consideration.

“There has been an increasing amount of third party investor interest in both the BBL and individual clubs since the summer of 2014,” Low added. “Some of that interest has come from overseas investors. Most of the interest has been primarily driven by the profit motive with interest in the sport itself very much a secondary consideration.

“Everyone within the sport is aware of BBall UK’s interest but there are other prospective investors and interested parties we are talking to. Indeed, Larry Kestelman’s recent acquisition of a controlling interest in the NBL has only added to that interest.”

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