Basketball England had to withstand a dramatic drop in its revenues last year, its accounts have revealed.

Its newly-published annual accounts revealed that BE’s turnover declined by an extraordinary 33 per cent in the financial year leading up to March 2018.

The dip equated almost exactly to a £926,000 cut in Sport England’s grant with only a modest increase in membership revenue as an offset.

It means the salaries of its three senior members of staff – chief executive Stewart Kellett, delivery director David Butler and marketing director Sarah Robertson – now equate to around 10% of the organisation’s overall income with directors salaries also growing by 60% from 2016-17.

£262,000 less was spent on infrastructure and there was a cut of £605,000 in programme delivery amid a reduction in BE’s running costs, although a move to Manchester is expected to deliver long-term cost savings, BE executives insist.

The accompanying annual report also sees the governing body admit its failures in attempts to comply with the code for sports governance which, its critics say, is highlighted by a lack of transparency.

The report said: “While the review highlighted several areas in which we can improve, we have been working hard throughout the year to ensure we are fully compliant and ultimately able to provide robust governance structures for the sport.”

The numbers come as Basketball England quietly posted the draft of its new strategic plan online, one which is intended to run up to 2024.

The proposal – available here – is open for feedback until 15 September before a final version is published on October 1.

It states four standout priorities for the sport:

1. Grow the grassroots participation at a younger age. We will be building on the success of numerous clubs in this area as well as launching a new school community programme at the primary school level.
2. Tackle the gap between male and female participation in playing, competing, coaching and officiating with the introduction of a campaign to attract more women and girls at all levels of the sport.
3. Address the number of quality coaches to support the game – from quality playing experiences at local level to developing players to participate at the highest level.
4. Similarly for officiating, we know that a game experience is so much better when we have sufficient officials supported and trained at the right level, so a recruitment and training drive will be key to our growth plans.

It does acknowledge Basketball England’s abject failure to bring significant commercial and sponsorship revenues into the sport by monetising its high participation numbers – with only £17,014 secured last year. Sport England, it confirmed, has told BE to raise their game in this area.

“We also need to replicate what other sports have done to succeed with commercial sponsorship for their grassroots programmes and other packages relating to talent and performance basketball,” it states.

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