British Basketball Receives No Funding from UK Sport in Run Up to 2016

Luol Deng 2012 London Olympics

Luol Deng GB vs Spain Olympics
British Basketball was dealt a huge blow today when UK Sport announced it would receive no funding as part of the next 4 year cycle in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Despite UK Sport announcing a record £347million in funding for sports in the run up to 2016, an increase of 11% on the 2012 funding allocation, basketball will not be one of the beneficiaries.

The announcement comes following Great Britain’s disappointing performances at the London 2012 Olympics where both teams combined for a single win.

“We knew the criteria that UK Sport were applying for Rio, but having been funded to the tune of £8.5m in the lead up to the London Olympics because of the sport’s medal potential for the future, this is a devastating decision and is a waste of that investment.” said British BasketballChairman, Roger Moreland.

“Over the last five years, the GB teams have done the equivalent of going from League Two in football to the Premier League. They have been competing with the very best countries in the world. It doesn’t seem much of a legacy from 2012 to dash the hopes and aspirations of a sport whose heartland is founded in Britain’s inner cities.”

British Basketball also praised the contributions of the home country federations and the international body, FIBA. Moreland continued: “Our colleagues in the home countries and FIBA have given huge support to the GB programmes and they have dealt positively with some challenging discussions about the future structure of the sport.

“Having dealt with those challenges so constructively, the decision seems scant reward for embracing change designed to realise medal potential”.

With the GB men’s team heading for its third consecutive European Championship Finals in 2013 appearance and the women’s team its second, British Basketball remains focused on the future.

Moreland added: “We have only been informed of this decision today and we will need to take stock of what we do going forward. The first thing we will be doing is appealing this decision. There seems to be a huge gap in the funding system for sports such as basketball. There is a fantastic talent pool in this country which comes from different parts of the community than the majority of sports UK Sport supports. They deserve better. We will take stock and thoroughly investigate all avenues and discuss options with the fantastic network of partners we have built up over time and anyone else that wants to join us. A few years back many people said GB teams wouldn’t be competitive at the Olympics. We were. The men’s team lost by one point to eventual silver medallists, Spain and soundly beat world ranked number 10, China. The women only lost on the last shot of over-time to France who won the silver medal. We have the athletes with the potential to win medals and that’s what British Basketball intends to do.”

More to come.


  • So does this mean we won’t have the funding to even send our players to events like Rio?!

    • I can’t see how we’re going to afford any major championships at either GB U20 or Senior level unless an appeal is successful or something else dramatically changes.

  • JohnB2

    Devastating decision. I was sure that they will cut the funding but not cut it all together. Now British Basketball needs to find other ways to fund its programs – will Spice & co hang around or find solutions?

    • The problem is now they have no money it makes making it a commercial venture even more of a tough job. Though they did have some commercial revenues coming in, I can’t see much of it remaining now that 2012 is done.

      Will be interesting to see which staff members hang around (most have already left anyway!) – how are they even going to take a salary?

  • Chris Spice will not be staying now that his nice big salary is gone. The real question now is whether the board can find a way to field a team next summer.

    What other sources of funding do GB receive? Please no-one say sponsorship – that will not be happening now as this decision removes any faint hope we had of qualifying for Rio.

    • nobody

      GB basketball has a marketing department so it will be interesting to see what they have done now that their main source of income has been cut off.

      To qualify for Rio in 2016, we have a couple of options, qualify for the world championship this summer
      and then become world champions next summer. Failing this then make sure we qualify for Eurobasket 2015 and then qualify for the Olympics with what ever qualification system is used.

      As for funding the British Basket in the future, I think it will be up to the fans supporting people like Sam Neter (owner of this site) in a big way in promoting the sport to potential investors.

      Failing this British basketball should hire the people running English Netball because they know how to get funding.

      • There are a couple of problems with that though. They can’t hire anyone if they have no money. And if they have no money and no staff, there is no team to invest in/sponsor.

  • L

    Media is the key to get kids interested and playing!

  • WOW

    Quote::::: Moreland added: “We have only been informed of this decision today and we will need to take stock of what we do going forward.

    Bullshit……… What is really crazy is that no one knew this was going to happen….

    • I’m still in total shock. I expected a serious cut in their funding, but no way thought they’d receive zero. Absolutely devastating.

  • ucouldntmakeitup

    let’s see how long the board etc, carry on now that their expenses etc (which im guessing are covered from budget) carry on

    is there an online area where we can view expenditure from the time the last funding was provided?


    can anyone spell LEGACY

    • BPB’s full accounts are available to buy (only like £1) and view from Companies House. It doesn’t give a break down of expenses unfortunately, but I think everyone knows there was massive overspend. Salaries were pretty big…

  • really?

    There should be a call for a full accounting of the money BPB spent, what it was spent on and how much remains. The answer will be shocking.

  • JohnB2

    Not just expenses, they are all paid. They have a lot to answer for but let’s see what they intend to do first.

  • Reggie

    Right, where do I start? (Need to get a lot off my chest)

    1. “Legacy” – The only reason we hosted the Olympics was to get ourselves out of a recession. Not too “inspire a nation.” Sad, but true I’m afraid.

    2. Culture – This is by far the biggest issue. The UK just don’t get it. They can’t appreciate the greatest game on earth. This is the media’s fault (more on that later).

    3. Britain generally are very stubborn when it comes to accepting new sports. Simply put, if Britain never invented the game, it doesn’t matter. This again, is horribly the truth. UK doesn’t like to adapt, ever!

    4. The NBA, not the horrendous BBL needs to be shown weekly on BBC. Get the kids to enjoy the NBA first and then they will slowly get into the game, and will then enjoy Basketball in general, and then we can work from there. The NBA has to be shown here as a stepping stone. Can’t stress this enough. Not everybody has ESPN, a deal with the BBC is an absolute must!

    5. The lack of media interest has hurt the sport here in the long run. This has led to Brits being ‘alien’ to the game, and not understanding it. A shame really.

    6. The UK just doesn’t get it. Plain and simple. You can blame the media for that.

    If it fails to blow up now in this country…. it never will.. ever

  • Crooky

    Typical! Cricket and Equestrian okay? Swimming? Yeah they got loads of medals!
    Muppets at UK Sport in the dark ages.

  • JohnB2

    Every national funding agency will fund their potential medalists. We may not like Equestrian but it is an Olympic sport and brings GB medals. Those 20 min against Australia and women’s missed chance to beat Canada will hunt us for a very long time. We did not do enough as a sport to get more money, this is the truth.

    • Except it’s not an even playing field as all the Olympic sports aren’t equally comparative. A team sport like basketball you are literally playing against the best teams from the world, and near enough every country has a team…sports like rowing, or equestrianism – how many countries even enter?

      By axing funding UK Sport have basically made a farce of the last four years – why bother giving the money in the first place?!

      • JohnB2

        Actually, basketball, handball and volleyball were funded only because London hosted the Games and they wanted to have representation in all sports. This was clear. Olympics these days are about medals and points, basketball can only deliver 2 medals (maybe never!) while the sports you mention above can do much better. Basketball should be funded for sure, all other team sports too, but perhaps from other sources – UK Sport´s vision has been clear from the outset. With the money paid for Deng´s insurance for 1 summer, some sports can deliver a few medals as they don´t pay their athletes more then 20-30k annually. British Basketball officials knew the rules and did not do enough if anything to invest the money wisely, build a structure and develop coaches in the past 6-7 years. This proved to be the biggest mistake as money were wasted on administrators with no basketball pedigree, trips for Board members and luxuries. I do not believe for a second that the other European federations fund their national teams only from government allocations – all manage to find good sponsors, run profitable events, etc. What did BPB do in that area – paid hundreds of thousands to “consultants” and Fast Track…we put a hockey coach/Performance Director on Finch´s bench instead of Mokeski and Woutilla operating our teams from Canada!! We must look into how the money were spent and then find a better way forward. Turning against the other sports is simply not the answer.

  • The Real UK

    1. Legacy- They are creating a legacy in the most popular and successful sports from the London Olympics… Peoples memories of Team GB at the games are from Athletics, Diving, Equestrian, Rowing etc and the medals that were won… The majority of the public don’t care what is going on with the basketball team, it is hard to believe that as a die hard basketball fan but that is the truth.

    2. Culture- You cant blame the media!!!! It is supply and demand… There is little interest in basketball in the UK, so why would the media promote basketball stories?!?!? They are in the business of promoting what the interests of the general population are at that time… There is nothing in it for them to try and grow basketball, and WHY should basketball take priority over other minority sports in the U.K??

    3. Maybe, but Football, rugby, cricket, athletics have been a part of life for over a hundred years… That is not going to change.

    4. Again if there was a huge demand for NBA games by the public they would be shown… But history shows that any channel that takes on NBA basketball gets low viewing figures and limited advertising… So again is it worth the risk when you can show Football, rugby, american football even… And the BBL is shown, not by demand but by the £10,000+ each team pays sky sports to play on TV.

    5. Again… Can’t blame the media… The media is just a reflection of public interest.

    6. ….

    End of the day we had our chance to shock the world and get to the knockout stages of Olympics, but we didn’t get it done… From a financial point of view in a country fresh out of a recession putting millions of taxpayers pounds into a sport with just over 0% chance of making the 2016 Olympics, you can understand why an investment wasn’t made.

    • Ron Weasley

      The Real UK, that is the most sense I’ve heard today over this funding “shock”

      Simple facts, we won’t medal in Rio, we won’t qualify for Rio, we don’t deserve any funding.

      We need a Dave Brailsford for Basketball. We currently have thousands of people working to different development plans and different systems. We slag off successful clubs, rather than compliment them and learn their techniques. We hold back talented players in the name of our own clubs success and winning. When these players leave our clubs to better themselves and push their development we claim they are traitors or their new clubs poached them.

      We need a charismatic leader, a Brailsford. Someone that will capture the attention of all of us and get us all working to the same goals. We are all aiming for the same goal at the moment but we are all working in different ways to get their with ultimately, I’m sorry to say , the wrong outcomes.

      It’s a massive job but one that must be filled.

  • Dpeti

    Everything said may be true. However, we can all talk and write, scream and shout, as individuals, but it will not make one iota of difference to the way the sport is administered and organized. Too many people have jobs to protect.

    Perhaps an Arab Spring is required!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • john

    As much as I blame UK Sport for this ridiculous decision I also pass blame at David Stern’s selfish and greedy attitude to the UK.

    He is happy to demand that a temporary basketball arena got built at London 2012 to the tune of £50m, where Wembley Arena could have been used and some money could have been invested in building more free courts across the UK.

    Added to this Stern is happy to talk about bringing NBA to the UK and charging vastly overpriced tickets compared to NBA games in the US, and he and the NBA have taken an age to agree a TV deal with ESPN UK this year, with UK fans missing out on over a month of play. He should give cheap or even free TV rights to BBC/ITV/C4 for a decent highlights show.

    Basketball should and could be a fairly big sport in the UK, unfortunatly it gets no help from anyone be it UK governemnt, NBA or FIBA. It will depend on grassroot volunteers and the lottery of life of players leaving for the USA at an early age.

  • Fan

    The Mallin Report was commissioned in 2006 and it makes for interesting reading given the UKsport’s comments re funding in 2012.

    Although, as the EB web states, it does not, specifically say the EB is, (was) not fit for purpose,
    the Report’s authors interviewed numerous people involved in the game and one only has to read between the lines to make their own judgement.

    I am told that a very senior member of the EB said that in his opinion the Report was fit solely for the waste paper basket !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Fan

      Unfortunately the website does not have the report properly formatted. I will see if I can find a formatted copy

    • I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy of the Mallin Review for ages. Thanks for sharing that link, going to get stuck into it today.

  • JohnB2

    “Sports minister Hugh Robertson admitted on Tuesday that the sports which had had their funding cut off were only supported before London because organisers thought it would help them sell tickets.

    Robertson said: “When we hosted the Olympics we supported all sports, mainly to drive ticket sales, although it turned out that that wasn’t a huge problem. But going forward it is done on a performance basis and there is not a lot of point of funding a few sports which will not be there in medal contention.”

  • Welsh100

    Worth another look at the statemnet issued in 2011 about the GB Basketball Legacy that had been a requirement from FIBA for Team GB to participate in the

    Clearly now that London 2012 has been delivered the UK Sport feel that they no longer have to comply.
    It would be useful if someone could actually find and post , just what those legacy commitments given to FIBA actually were. I hope they were not just the ones listed in the BBC artilce above.

    As stated above, it would be useful to see the aims and objectives that were set out at the begining of the process towards 2012 by GB Basketball and what their legacy was post 2012?

    Do GB Basketball hold an open AGM where questions can be asked?

  • Justsaying

    The issues are:

    1. Politics – Traditional/historic/upper class sports get funding, rugby, cricket, water polo. Add to this the fact that no sport outside of the traditional one’s that have 100’s of years of history in this country has ever, ever made it big.

    2. The farce of basketball in the UK: terrible structure, useless to the extreme NGBs, laugable pro league, lack of a definitive govening body (EB and GB coexisting, different countries beinf represented at different age groups) – Would you give a sport like this millions? I wouldn’t.

    Combine these two things together and it’s no real suprise. It’s ultra negative but im afraid basketball will never be a serious sport in the UK.

    The GB teams (men & women) have made significant strides in the last 5-6 years but let’s be honest, it was all geared for 2012 and we all knew the arse would fall out of it and everyone would abandon ship as soon as the Olympics were over.

    • :(


  • euronut

    I just checked the BBA facebook page which states they are staffing up in 2013. I just rang their number in the UK and got a woman on the phone who said they are progressing and will have an announcement early in the new year. If there were ever a better opening for them it would be now as it now seems the sport is on its last breath.

  • OH

    Looking at future, we have some stars, stars that could be very big prominent international players.. These guys need hope & funding.. Shame UK Sport aren’t looking long term

  • Roy

    The Mallin Report, which was commissioned in 2006 can be downloaded from here

    Just how much of this is relevant today?

  • Coach Rob K

    I have to say that like most Basketball fans I am very disappointed with the fact that all of the funding has been cut. When I first heard I thought that some of the funding had been cut, not all of it. But having had time to reflect on this I can see why UK sport have done this.

    We were never going to medal in London 2012 and we WILL/WOULD struggle to qualify for Rio 2016 (even with the proposed increase in teams) and I am afraid that is what UK Sport specified when the funding was given Sports had to show that they had the potential to medal and we did none of that. Yes I agree that we have come on in leaps and bounds and look where we are now, but I am afraid to say that we are not even in the top 10 teams in Europe let alone in the world and we are a long way from this.

    I have also said in the past that the problem that GB Basketball had was that it had a Director that did not even have a background in basketball. It was a case of to many fat cats sitting on their backsides pretending to have the games interest at heart, but have been soundly lacking. Did the board of GB Basketball ever speak to GB Cycling or GB Rowing to see how to put the program in place and make it a success (THE ANSWER IS A BIG FAT NO)? In order to run a successful program it has to be run from the top down starting at the elite level and by people that understand the game and run the game. Why was Joe Forber not contacted? John Amaechi not contacted?

    How many of Team GB playing in 2012 actually played in the BBL (one or two maybe) the rest have to play in Europe and the rest of the world A) to make money and B) to play a decent standard of basketball that is going to help improve their game. Where are the coaches that we were promised?

    I am sorry to say but the fault for the funding cut is on the heads of the board of GB Basketball and they are the ones why we are in this mess. However I suspect rather than trying to sort this mess out now, they will be sending their CV’s out looking for new jobs. Why were we the only country that had to pay for our NBA players insurance, did Spain do the same for the Gasol brothers? A lot on money was wasted and I am afraid to say that I think we have seen Deng pull on a GB vest for the last time.

    I am angry but not surprised and to be honest I did expect it. But we have to look to the future and I do not believe that the BBA is the answer too. Where have they been over the last few years? They keep saying that they are moving forward and that something will be happening soon, but they have been saying this for the last 5 years!!!

    With regards to the media, they will report on success and with basketball there has not exactly been much to shout about. How many of the national newspapers even know that Joel Freeland is playing in the NBA at the moment? One or two maybe? It would be nice to see the NBA on free TV and I do not understand why the BBC cannot run it like they do with the NFL, which can be seen on the Red Button and heard on BBC 5livesports extra……

    No I am sorry to say that GB Basketball only have themselves to blame for this and will all now jump ship as no one will be able to pay their over inflated salaries. GB Basketball will now go back into the wilderness and we will fall further behind the rest of Europe and the rest of the world, but to be honest it was what I expected.

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