Glasgow Rocks co-owner David Low alleges the British Basketball League is in danger of going bust due to the coronavirus shutdown.

The BBL was scheduled to host its money-spinning end of season playoff final at London’s 02 Arena on Sunday but has instead lost up to £350,000 due to its cancellation.

The wipe-out has left the eleven teams facing a £1 million black hole in their finances, according to Leicester Riders chair Kevin Routledge, with fears that they may not be able to resume play until 2021.

And, claimed Low in the latest edition of the MVP Cast, a lack of cash reserves or outside investment could push the league to the brink of collapse.

He said: “I think it’s a crisis. I think there is a grave danger the BBL will suffer an insolvency event. That’s not a far-out thing to say. Because if you look at all sports leagues across the globe, all teams and clubs, we’re all operating on a nil-revenue environment with no money coming in, for an indefinite period of time.

“If your household is operating like that, you’ve got a problem. If you’ve no income coming into your league, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out you’re going to have a problem. This is the situation that BBL finds itself in, similar to the Scottish Football Association or English FA.”

No white knights are on the horizon with the UK government yet to replicate the generous bailout given to rugby league and no deep-pocketed investors from the Middle East presently stepping forward.

Low – who exited as a director of the league in early 2019 following a series of contentious arguments – insists it has put the financial model currently in place in a precarious position with any collapse potentially putting the BBL’s operating licence under threat.

“The BBL owes £350,000 or so to six clubs and it doesn’t have any cash in the bank,” he asserted. “When you put all these things together I’d be really worried about the BBL. There are a lot of grants kicking about, and I don’t know if the BBL can make use of them, but they should be taking them up.”

Collective wisdom, and a change of tack, may be required with surprise in some quarters that the league has agreed to increase its non-European import quota to four next term amid calls from elsewhere to reduce costs. Whatever happens, Low adds, a difficult year inevitably lies ahead as Covid-19 looms large over the world. “I don’t think there is any silver lining here,” he said.

With proposals to finish the current campaign in September before starting the next one looking increasingly unlikely, the BBL board will have to make a decision on whether Glasgow, who were four points clear with five games remaining, will be awarded the title.

Their calls to be handed the championship have been met with a cool reception but Low maintains there is a moral case on the Rocks side.

He said: “The league is over. We’re not making it null and void. We’re top. Glasgow Rocks should be champions. And we’ll be having our own celebration when it’s officially announced that there will be no more games.”

Listen to the full edition of the MVP Cast below as David Low talks us through the troubled financial waters for sport caused by coronavirus, the BBL’s investment potential, opportunities and threats and the Rocks’ venue construction plans.

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Access our previous audio editions via our Podcast page – or subscribe via your podcast provider so you don’t miss a single edition.

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