Highly-regarded Great Britain Under-20 men’s coach Marc Steutel stepped down in a pay wrangle.

MVP has learnt that the British Basketball Federation backed out of a deal to retain his services for this summer’s European Championships, a year after he guided the side to ninth place – one of the highest-ever rankings achieved.

Instead, the federation has re-advertised the role and asked candidates, who will be full-time for around one month ahead of July’s tournament in Tel Aviv, to work for free.

Steutel, regarded as one of the country’s most promising young playcallers, was also given the role of assistant coach with the senior side as a consequence of his successes.

Sources close to the federation have told MVP that it was originally agreed that Steutel would have the salary of his main employment covered while taking unpaid level to oversee the programme.

However although he had already begun the process of contacting players, the contract has effectively been ripped up with a management group, understood to include representatives from Basketball England, decreeing that ‘the BBF cannot be seen making payments to coaches’.

When contacted, the governing bodies refused to comment on the reasons for their decision. Steutel declined comment.

However it follows a controversial move by the financially-stricken organisation, whose operations are being run by former Basketball England director Nicky Shaw (pictured above), to ask senior men’s head coach Alberto Lorenzo and his staff to work for free earlier this year.

British Basketball – now overseen in a loose collaboration by the three home nations – recently made its remaining staff redundant, including Bev Kettlety, the long-time manager of the senior women’s team who exited only a few months before the side begins its all-important bid to move a step closer to 2020 Olympic qualification at EuroBasket in Riga and Belgrade.

In an email distributed to a number of senior figures within the sport and seen by MVP, the outgoing programme manager Diana-Mae Pettigrew accused the BBF board of “belittling and alienating” staff and “creating a distressing and divisive working environment” in the months leading up to the cull.

The governing body also no longer has a website with moved offline three weeks ago.

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