The UK government has rejected the BBL’s request for financial assistance.

As revealed by The Telegraph, the British Basketball League’s petition for a £1 million loan was turned down by the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport despite their previous bailout of £16 million that was handed over to the English rugby league set-up to save it from collapse as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

With some clubs facing monetary hardship, and the likes of Leicester and Newcastle weighed down by facilities which are now lying empty, an argument had been made that the emergency bridging funding could make a vital difference despite multiple clubs gaining funds through the government’s furloughing scheme and business support programmes.

BBL chair Sir Rodney Walker told The Telegraph: “Unfortunately, our application for financial assistance has been declined.

“However, I have gone back to Government to remind them of the amount of work that the sport generally does in the urban communities and it would be a shame if that were curtailed because of lack of resource.”

League chief Andy Webb admitted upon cancelling the 2019-20 season that the BBL is facing “significant” losses with a lack of financial viability to play games behind closer doors while social distancing restrictions are in place.

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