The British Basketball League is to postpone its season “until further notice” – but, surprisingly, not to formally cancel play.

The move was taken at a board meeting on Tuesday morning with Glasgow Rocks understood to have been the only club to have voted against the move.

It comes two days after the finals of the BBL and WBBL Trophy were played in Glasgow under a ripple of criticism from both clubs and fans following the icing of every other European league, bar Turkey.

The WBBL has, however, been cancelled.

In a statement, the league said: “The BBL is wholly owned by its member clubs who as a collective determine any decisions and they have agreed that it is in the best interests of the sport to see out the season and that this postponement offers the best chance to do so.

“This action has been taken in consultation with Basketball England, Basketball Scotland, Basketball Wales, BUCS and the AoC Sport.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with all BBL clubs and partners to explore all options to allow us to continue the season prudently and safely at the earliest opportunity.

“We would like to thank the players, staff, volunteers and fans for their continued support in this unprecedented situation.”

With almost all clubs allowing their imported players to travel home, resumption would pose competitive issues with few expecting British sport to return to action before June – long after the scheduled date of the playoff final.

Current advice on mass gatherings effectively prohibits the staging of professional sport in front of any crowds.

It is unclear, however, what effect a postponement will have on player and coaches contracts which normally run to the end of the campaign with some clubs telling MVP that it would still allow a break clause.

“Everyone else is postponing,” said Lions owner Vince Macaulay. “All our players are still here. Something may happen by end of May … who knows?

“Our next game is sold out. But players elsewhere are going home so nothing can go ahead. It is just a tough situation.”

Not staging the BBL Playoff final, scheduled for mid-May at London’s 02 Arena, would deal a huge financial blow to the league, estimated to be at least £250,000. The value of the BBL’s media deal with Perform might also be reduced without games, one source said.

But Rocks owner Duncan Smillie – whose side are thought unlikely to be crowned champions in the event of a full cancellation – criticised his fellow owners for not simply calling it quits in a bid to minimise potential losses and plan ahead.

He said: “Glasgow Rocks believe that the right thing to do for the sport and more importantly for public health would be to bring the season to an end immediately.

“This would give the BBL and its clubs a period of six months to immediately regroup, recapitalise and manage the expectations of staff, players, coaches, fans and sponsors, rather than postponing the inevitable.

“We have a duty of care to all our staff, many of which are young men a long way from home for the first time in their lives, and like many others feel very uncomfortable at this uncertain time. They would much prefer to get themselves home to their loved ones.

“Nobody at Glasgow Rocks believes there is more basketball to be played this season. The season is over and to say otherwise for political or financial reasons is foolhardy.”

In a parallel move, Basketball England confirmed a decision to cancel all affiliated basketball activity for the remainder of the 2019-20 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They said: “At the moment, we are still working on confirming the fairest course of action for how we handle the premature end to the 2019/20 season.

“A policy on how the final NBL tables will be concluded is being considered and will be communicated on or before 27 March 2020.”

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