Roger Moreland Speaks on UK Sport British Basketball Funding Cut - Hoopsfix.com

Roger Moreland Speaks on UK Sport British Basketball Funding Cut

Roger Moreland British Basketball Funding Cut

Roger Moreland British Basketball Funding CutFollowing the UK Sport announcement that British Basketball would receive zero funding in their latest allocations, yesterday, we got the chance to sit down and talk with British Basketball Chairman Roger Moreland.

In the 20 minute interview, we discuss his initial reaction to the news, the implications for the future, what British Basketball are going to do next and much more.

The transcription can be found below the video, for all those who prefer to scan. Have a watch/read, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Full interview transcription:

Hoopsfix(H): Let’s just start and rewind to yesterday, where were you when you heard about the funding and what was your initial reaction?

Roger Moreland (RM):I was here in the UK Sport offices because the British Basketball offices ironically located in UK Sport’s offices. Initial reaction was one of complete and utter shock because that was the first time the message had been transmitted and in fairness to UK Sport they kept that message pretty tight. Not even the people who deal with the sports day to day were told about the decision and I just felt, you know, such a dramatic decision, such a devastating decision, I just thought it could have been managed in advance of yesterday, quite frankly.

H: Now 24 hours later, you’ve had a bit of time to sit and reflect on it, have your feelings changed at all?

RM: No, not one iota. If anything I’m probably angrier. Yesterday was one of shock and the initial reaction was we’ve got to get the message out about what we feel about this situation. It’s one of anger. There’s been a lot of media coverage over the last 24 hours and we’ve been thinking about that, getting the message out. Thinking about what we need to do to make the appeal that we will make to UK Sport and also looking at what type of campaign can we also kick off to keep this media momentum going but also to make the case, and I suppose, look at alternatives if that turns out to be the case because we’re not going to go away, we’ve got two European Championships next year if people think we’re going to go away from that, then they’re crackers.

H: What does this actually mean? What does zero funding mean, what are the real world implications to British Basketball as an organisation?

RM: Well, they’re pretty devastating. They’d be devastating for any organisation where 80%+ of its revenue comes from that one source. It wasn’t at all what we anticipated because we were originally funded in the lead up to London as a sport with medal potential and there was never any suggestion it was just about London. Anybody that would’ve thought that would’ve been out of their minds quite honestly. It was longer term medal potential, and that’s what we were looking at Rio for and being able to demonstrate that we have the opportunity to qualify in our own right.

And had UK Sport said to you at any point in the last four years that it was going to be for longer than four years, or was there just a natural assumption from you that it was going to be?

RM: Initially when we got the awarding in 2009 we weren’t awarded world class performance funding, we were awarded funding from what then I think was called the development programme. It was because of the development potential of the sport and its profile in terms of the latent talent that’s in it, where it’s played, it’s participation numbers and the demonstrable ability to be able to compete at the top level. So there was never any suggestion…and I don’t think that was the case for any of the sports, I know it wasn’t in talking to colleagues in other sports. There was no suggestion funding was for four years and that was it.

H: And playing devil’s advocate a little bit, the criteria for UK Sport funding is very clear, they’re all about medals, that’s all that matters to them; it’s all about winning. On that basis, why didn’t we see it coming that it was going to be cut?

RM: Well we always knew we were on the cusp, we always knew we were on the cusp of that. But they had an 8-tier categorisation of what they would fund and we always thought, if we had a quarter finals place then that obviously would’ve helped our case. But you know, there are small margins in sport, a one point loss to the Spanish on the men’s side, silver medallists, a one point loss to French on the other side, those small margins make a huge difference. A couple of things either way, the only really bad half of basketball was the one against Australia on the men’s side and everybody accepts that. But hey, this is the same as somebody falling off their bike on the way around the velodrome – if Chris Hoy falls off his bike he doesn’t get a medal. So, you know, of course we knew that but we were a development sport with medal potential, that’s what we thought.

H: Do you think at all, that other factors played a role (in the funding cut). Maybe politics, you want to look at the backgrounds of different people in certain high positions, we don’t benefit from a basketball culture and an old boys network, if you want to call it that, of people in high places that have got a basketball background that are rooting for us. Do you think that plays a role in this decision?

RM: I don’t know. Maybe. I think it’s probably somewhat more complex in the sense that, you’ve just talked about Sam, the medal winning mentality, what it appears is, you go from that to the grassroots and talent development at home country level. Sport England on Monday announced that England Basketball would have £1.5million over four years, the gap between that type of development which is largely for young players, and what’s required to win medals is therefore huge. So what is there behind there that supports a sport like basketball, which in fairness ,is probalby one of a few that can say this, we’ve achieved, we’re at a certain level in our sport, going backwards is a real difficult option, but what is there in that gap there when you’ve made such big strides, and you’re not quite on the verge of winning medals but you can realistically qualify for the next Olympics and depending on the draw, who knows?

H: Talking in the future. There’s obviously this merger happening, what does it mean for the merger, how does it effect England Basketball and Basketball Scotland coming together and unifying under the Great Britain…

RM: It’s important to acknowledge that it’s not a merger, you’ve got to think about it as a confederated approach. And what that means is, it’s really about who is the member of FIBA. As far as that’s concerned, the agreement is in place with FIBA and the home countries are talking about how that works over the next three years before the papers have to be put into FIBA to create Britain as the member body. There’s an agreement in place and we’re working through that with FIBA and the other home countries at the minute. The home countries will remain, they will be responsible for the grass roots of the sport and talent development at the young levels with Britain being the member and they’ll be the members of FIBA through Great Britain. It’s just imporant to be clear about the fact it’s not a merger, those bodies stay but they confederate and the membership changes from home countries to Britain.

H: Ok so worst case scenario, you’ve said that 80% of your funding comes from UK Sport, if an appeal isn’t successful, where does that leave us, where are we going to get the money from, how are we going to survive, what’s going to happen?

RM: Well that’s the second part of the approach, and it’s quite interesting the responses we’ve had from partners, sponsors etc, is that we have their support. Now what we’ve got to do is mobilise that and see how we can generate as much revenue as possible for the future. Like all organisations you operate a reserves policy, so we have reserves which would enable us to achieve our immediate objectives which would be to compete in both the men’s and women’s Eurobaskets this year.

H: So you have got enough funding to last at least 2013 through with those European Championships commitments?

RM: Yeah, the question is, what can we deliver with the funding, because it’s by no means the level of funding that we would normally anticipate to operate in the way that we have been up until now. But it is an operating reserve and in the time we’ve had so far, we’ve made a commitment as board to say we want to continue for the men to play in Slovenia for the women to play in France and we’ve just got the look at what that means as far as revenue is concerned, how can we generate more revenue. It’s a difficult challenge, but we’ve got to do that, the sport in this country needs that in some way or another and maybe it just provides that reason to get behind something. The teams have got to a place that hopefully everybody can be proud of and hopefully that will provide a unifying cause.

H: Do you think that it could be argued that when you first got the funding you know it was for four years, you weren’t told that it was definitely going to be for longer than that, do you think it could be argued that in those four years you could have done a much better job of making British Basketball a commercially viable enterprise through privately sourced income and sponsorship, more to the point so that now you wouldn’t be reliant on 80% of your funding from UK Sport?

RM: There’s no sport, even what you might call the more commercial ones, that doesn’t rely heavily on the public purse. Of course we want to be commercially independent, but frankly, there are very very small number of sports that are commercially independent, and we’re probably not mature enough to be commercially independent at this point in time. The other thing to remember is that the British Basketball operation is extremely lean and very focused on the sport and the operations of the teams. It does not have a big operation in the background, we’ve done very well and in comparison to other sports, with the commercial funding that we’ve generated through this Olympiad.

H: There’s been a lot of complaints from fans of wastage and overspending over the last four years, do you feel like that’s a fair assumption, or not?

RM: Absolutely not. We’re given funding from UK Sport for a particular purpose, and we have to use it for that particular purpose. They don’t say “here’s a load of money”, we have to put in very detailed business proposals to justify the level of funding that we get. So I’m not sure what people are referring to when they talk about overspend or not managed pockets, if it gives people assurances, it’s a very bureaucratic thing to refer to, but we get the top rating we can possibly get from external and internal auditors. There’s never been any suggestion from UK Sport that we’re spending money in the wrong way, it’s actually directed in the right way from their point of view.

H: UK Sport has said that 2012 in a way was a bit of an anomoly because of the fact it was a home Olympics, and as a result of that, sports such as basketball actually got funded where under normal circumstances they would have never received funding in the first place. Should we just be grateful we got the last four years and move on?

RM: I suppose you might legitimately say yes to that if the teams didn’t achieve the competitive status that they did. What we’ve got to remember is that unlike any other sport, our host country place wasn’t given to us for any old reason. As we know, there was the Back British Basketball campaign that you were involved with for example, that was a big, big mobilisation to persuade people both off the court and on the court that we were worthy of the place. It wasn’t given to us for nothing. And we certainly never received the message…it probably would have been more helpful if it was said to us at the time, “Actually, this is only for London”, but we’ve never heard that message.

H: And if you had receieved that message, looking back now, what would you have done differently, if anything?

RM: I don’t know if we would have done anything different, but I think what we would have done if we had heard that message is to say, ‘well ok, that is your view, but what achievements would we have to achieve if that was the case’. I don’t think that’s a reasonable message for anyone, just no motivation or inspiration behind that, and I think one of the things we tried to do over the last 5 years is to provide an inspiration to the next generation of players. And that for me is the big thing about this funding decision. Basically is largely founded in the inner cities, it’s not like other sports in that respect; boxing is probably the only comparator I would think, in the Olympic sports to be quite frank. What about the inspiration and aspiration for the next generation from the inner cities who love basketball?

H: What do you think the message is from this funding cut for all the club coaches, volunteers, people that have grafted hard at the grassroots level for the last 10/15/20 years, only to see at the opposite end of the spectrum your funding completely cut? What do you think that message is from UK Sport?

RM: I think every sport needs to have something that people are aiming at. If you’re a kid in the street…you know, when I was a kid, I wanted to be Joe Royal, I was a big Everton fan. You need something to aim at. I think there’s loads of kids out there from the non-traditional UK Sport funded communities and sports, that frankly, if this is retained, then there’s a piece of inspiration and peice of aspiration and a dream possibility that’s been taken away from them.

H: All that legacy stuff seems like a bit of a…

RM: At the moment it seems a bit hollow, yes.

H: Talking about the appeal, what is the basis of your appeal going to be and do you know what the process is – how long it’s going to take, when we’ll hear whether a decision’s been made on that appeal?

RM: We’re looking into that at the moment. I think from a UK Sport perspective, one of the things we’re discussing with them is something additional to the appeal process which is more formal and on their website. What we’d like to do is have an opportunity to go infront of the UK Sport board. The UK Sport board works at a strategic level, it is provided with information and it makes decisions – not on what the sport has achieved, they don’t get that level of detail I don’t think. We want them to understand the passion behind the sport, the aspiration behind the sport, where it has come from and where it wants to go to. We want them to understand that basketball wants to win medals in the future at major championships, including the Olympic games. Six or seven years ago, people said ‘you’re not good enough to be at the Olympic games’, six or seven years ago, people were thinking we’d never make a European Championships; that’s what dreams are made of.

H: As devastating as this news is, is this potentially an opportunity for a huge overhaul and almost a turning point for us to say what do we need to make this sport work, what do we need to do to make the government and UK Sport and whoever else take this sport seriously that is loved by so many young kids and be that turning point that in 10, 15, 20 years, we look back and say maybe this was actually the kick in the arse we needed to make it work?

RM: For me, getting in on 40 years in the game, I’ve heard this on so many occasions, that basketball doesn’t do itself any favours because there’s lots of factions within basketball fighting with one another. I think, iF anything comes out of this, for there to be one clear unified campaign to support what basketball wants and that’s GB teams to compete at the highest level of the game in this particular case. That could be a unifying effect that goes through the sport. I’d make an appeal to everyone involved, hopefully we’ll find methods and opportunites to be able to express that view and I’d encourage everyone to join in with that. I’ve even had emails this morning from secondary schools where the PE departments have said our basketball players are so upset about this they want to start a petition, can we get other schools to join in with this. That’s the type of thing that if we can provide that sort of opportunity in some way or another and keep the momentum of…ironically, we’ve probably had more media coverage in TV and the mainstream sports pages over the last 24 hours, which is really ironic. Basketball is in the picture, and yet it’s for this reason.

H: Right now as it stands, you’ve got about a year with the funding that you have – the current funding cycle ends in April , is there a possibility you have to look at everything now and say maybe we’re gonna have to lay off staff, cutback a lot…

The worst case scenario is what have we got to operate from reserve and what does that mean if we want to realise our ambition of fulfilling the places at Eurobaskets in the coming year?

H: Because there is so little money, should we say goodbye to our NBA players, Luol and Joel Freeland now and all our top players playing for the GB team?

RM: All I can say to that is, I hope not. It’s impossible for me to say. Lu was playing last night, we’re in dialogue with Lu etc. But I know how committed those guys are, and I really hope it’s not about that but we’ll just have to see how resource and other logistics and everything else fits in as the picture becomes a little bit clearer in the early part of next year I guess.

H: I know that your job as a federation is for the high performance end of the scale, but do you think there could have been a greater commitment to youth so that in the next two cycles, but 2020 we’ve got more of the top young British talent coming through?

RM: There are tremendous talent programmes in England and Scotland using the funding that is provided by the respective sports councils. Basketball Wales doesn’t have that same funding – they don’t get supported by Sport Wales. The talent programme has been recognised by a £1.5million award on Monday this week to England Basketball by Sport England, but you can see, £1.5million over four years, it’s not a great deal of money. Again, you come back to the point that the pathway is a unified thing and the issue now is, if a pathway is going to provide motivation beyond the amount of funding available, it needs to be complete. The question is now, it doesn’t feel as complete as it did do on Monday.

H: On that same basis, one of the key things you’ve been doing is the Regional Institues of Basketball, you’ve obviously got the one at Barking Abbey, what does it mean for them? I know you had plans for more in the future dotted around the country, are they going to have to be re-evaluated now?

RM: I think it’s more the system than anything else. Barking Abbey has not relied on British Basketball or England Basketball to do what its achieved, same with other places around the country; the question with regional institutes is can it build upon what’s already there really, in the right places. So I suppose it’s taking the added value and what does it do to that added value and again, it’s probably too early to say what the impact will be. Clearly, a loss of that amount of funding means it’s going to be really difficult to manage, particularly when you get to the U20 level and beyond and the develpopment programmes, we’ve got to really take stock of what we can do with the resources available and not pretend the loss of resource means you can provide the same amount of opportunity.

H: So, to finish I guess. What is the future for British Basketball?

Unclear at the moment, but we’re not going away. Whatever happens, we need to build through the age group programmes, that’s really essential. That means we may have to redesign the way that we approach it, we may have to look at what other opportunities are available to us through other partnerships and networks. Very often if you lose money or you have less money, a lot of innovation comes out in those times so it will be fasinating to see how it reveals itself for basketball going forward.

26 Comments

  1. Duco van Oostrum

    December 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Excellent job Sam in getting this interview when everything is still so raw and also good of Roger Moreland to try and answer (but really side-step) difficult questions (”you’rr to blame’; ‘prospect of cutting staff immediately to have a bit of money at least from now until April to be used for the future’–must not be fun answering those).

    Biggest thing, though, which to me illustrates some of the governance and strategic conflicts within GB:
    Roger Moreland: ‘the focus has to be on working through the age groups’; he seems to value continuity and opportunity for youth.
    Chris Spice: ‘U20s and Futures have to go.’

    Now who’s in charge? The man who has to sit on the bench as an ‘assistant’ to Chris Finch during the high profile Olympics–how has that decision helped GB achieve its target of the quarterfinals? The decision not to have coach Mo there may have been the difference during the actual games–a strategic decision jeopardizing the future of GB. And now? Still making the strategic decisions?

    Many other things. But no one on the GB administration has admitted any failure or personal responsibility in ‘getting it wrong.’ If a disaster like this were to happen in any other company, the leadership would take responsibility or be forced to. But no, the ‘rescue’ is now in the hands of those who failed in getting GB funding and the future. And the way to do it: cut the GB youth programmes and instead let’s have one more high profile event, Eurobasket 2013. And who will star in this high profile event?
    From this interview with chair Roger Moreland and the other interview with performance director Chris Spice, it seems there are diametrically opposed strategies being put forward, by the GB leadership itself. It’s hard to see a productive way forward without serious changes.

    • JohnB2

      December 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Totally agree. Spice must be sacked right now and the Board changed.

  2. Chris Cox

    December 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    As always Sam top work.

  3. Dpeti

    December 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I have some questions that someone might be able to answer.

    Who decided and agreed to form and establish GB ?
    Who elected the officers of GB ?
    Who are “members” of GB ?
    Where may one look at the Accounts and spending record ?
    Does GB have an AGM ?
    To whom are the GB officers responsible ?
    What is the relationship between GB and EB
    Who is responsible for appointing coaches ?
    Of the present GB officers who has the direct responsibility for the overall performance and administration of GB? Where does the buck stop ?
    Where might one find the Memorandum of Articles and Manifesto

  4. London2012

    December 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Fat jobs for the boys! No accountability for failing, overspending of tax payer´s money on wrong things, not bringing external funding, not promoting Deng´s team (camps in USA?!!!), cutting coaches instead of administrators, not building structure, not organising any top level events in the UK, not investing in youth (no DVO at OG´s), no coaching development, no British referees at the games…shall I go on? How many London kids had the chance to see Luol and Pops play? How many tickets were provided by British Basketball to the local clubs to inspire the next generation? Who will ask them to explain themselves to the basketball community about killing the biggest and the only opportunity basketball had in this country?!

    • Dpeti

      December 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Have to be careful just who is responsible for many of the above comments on this page. Is it GB who is at fault or, is it the EB.

      I suggest that both the EB and GB must take responsibility.

      • London2012

        December 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        No accountability for failing -GB, did not read anywhere a statement from them regarding not meeting targets and, therefore, failing.
        Overspending of tax payer´s money on wrong things – GB, expensive training camps in USA, 1st class travel for administrators and Board members, office that only operates a few months per year, 2 physios, a doctor and performance manager on the team bench but not a second assistant coach…to the tune of millions annually.
        Not bringing external funding, not promoting Deng´s team – GB, missed incredible opportunity to cash on a superstar (all other countries do a better job in that).
        Not organising any top level events in the UK – 7 years top funding (3.6M 2007-09 and 8.6M
        2009-12), not 1 single top event organised by BPB to promote their team and bring money in.
        Not investing in youth (no DVO at OG´s) – GB taking over all players over age 18 and running very limited programmes for them, failing in that too, cutting players like DVO from key events.
        No coaching development – nothing was done in that area by GB even though it`s in their own strategy.
        No British referees at the games – same as above, no investment in elite officials, they are part of the game.
        Tickets for OG´s – GB as a host organisation received 100s of tickets allocated to them. All went to their own staff and their relatives and friends, and the players´ and coaches´ families (that part is fine), none were given to local kids…

        EB and SB have their own faults and responsibilities. But GB supposed to take the leadership in all performance related issues and international relations/events. We have been told this loud and clear. They failed miserably. I only learned today also that Luol Deng was not naturalised by them but before they took over the programme. This makes it even more laughable as without him they would not have made it to any of the Eurobaskets for sure. Basketball needs funds for sure, but first must change the people that run it.

        • Dpeti

          December 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm

          As has been written so many times previously, all written and spoken comments about the failings of GB and EB will be simply water under the bridge as far as both Administrations will be concerned.

          Until the general basketball community wakes up and takes action, rather than sitting on its backside and just complaining, nothing will ever change. Nothing much has changed over the last 20 or 30 years and nothing will change in the future if this lasissez-faire attitude continues.

          I am not suggesting an “Arab Spring,” as has been mentioned, or indeed a revolution, as nearly happened after the publication of the Mallin Report, but drastic action has to take place.

          Before anything can happen a full, detailed and well thought out alternative must be able to be presented. It is of no use just to say something must happen or personnel must be changed if no alternative model can be put forward, or “qualified” other personnel can be suggested to replace present staff,

          One must realise that any change will be fiercely resisted, since job protection and self preservation will be most apparent.

          It will probably be, as was the case with the Mallin Report aftermath, necessary to convince FIBA that any change is a necessity.

          If the sport continues as at present, as so many commentators have written, basketball has no chance whatsoever of progress and all of us who coach (for free) or help in club administration (again for free) or publish a great web site such as this, will continue doing it, as at present, just for the sheer love and fun for the game.

          • JohnB2

            December 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

            I am afraid that it may be too late. It looks like British basketball wasted the only chance it ever had by blowing so much money in a short space of time. In a sport that has never been funded properly before 2007, opportunity like this and the free Olympic entry was a blessing. We can criticise all we want EB in the past 20 years but they have never received this kind of cash, neither had a player of Luol’s calibre at their disposal. Appeals, petitions etc. will not work, we all know that. At least if there was something built for the next generation I would be OK with them. Instead, we have to take Spice’s announcement that the U20’s anf the Futures must go…but not him!!

            • Fan

              December 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

              GB has without doubt screwed up big time, but what Dpeti is suggesting has to apply to the EB not the GB.

              Until English basketball is properly administered and organised and has the right personnel, with the business acumen, vision and foresight that is so desperately needed, the sport will never, ever, progress.

              It is a very simple case that building a strong foundation would ensure a stable and lasting structure. Trying to tamper with a top level domain that in any case hardly exists will never achieve the required objective(s) – As has just been proved.

              If junior basketball was properly structured, then, eventually senior basketball would benefit as would subsequently GB benefit.

              Is this not obvious?

              • JohnB2

                December 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm

                Not without well funded clubs run professionally and with paid coaches. I don’t see how a national federation can fix this problem. They have done well actually with their development squads , the U16s and even U18’s. But the big money have been invested above them and that investment was not used well – no real diffeence in the structure from top down. Now we expect the fat cats to dissapere and the rest of us and good old EB to pick-up the leftovers…

                • JohnB

                  December 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm

                  It is certainly not the job of the EB to finance clubs. It is solely the responsibility of the individual club.

                  Nevertheless, any club will find it difficult to get any sponsorship, of any kind, all the time that club is competing within a structure/competition that because it is badly administered, organised and run prohibits it from any chance (at all) of obtaining sponsorship.

                  The National League of years ago, was such that it allowed sponsorship to be obtained (every club I think was sponsored) and it was also possible, as I know from experience, to even get sponsorship for junior teams. (Coaches were also paid.)

                  Everything is possible, but as Fan says only within an administration that itself is professionally run.

                  • JohnB2

                    December 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm

                    Sure. What is the specific difference between the administration now and in those days?
                    Mind you, the results on the English youth national teams were not better back then for sure.

                    I also think that the other sports moved forward and offer better opportunities and this does not help local clubs. Now we also have the huge buzz of handball to worry about, not just football, rugby and netball.

  5. London2012

    December 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    And to add – not delivering the best players year after year – Ben Gordon, really?!! Finch said that it was Ron Wuotilla´s job and he met multiple times with him…and the result?

    We work with kids every day and for nothing – we want explanation first. I am not signing any petitions started by the likes of Moreland and Spice. I want to see them gone first! You fail, you go.

  6. Rich

    December 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Time to pick up the dummies (and replace them!) and move on. The game hasnt developed properly with lots of funding. This guy cites a development sport with medal potential… we had no medal potential and they havent developed the sport. We’re extremley lucky we had an NBA All star on our team… Luol Deng certainly did/does a lot of good but no one has took advantage of this. The state of school basketball is (at least in my area) as worse as Ive ever seen. Somehow someway we need to get more coaches going into schools, selling the game AND running more inter school competions. The local school tournaments I attend are generally ran by someone who just wanst a tick in their bonus box and rush the tournament through. Unsurprisngly teams dont bother to enter them the next year. It was also not that long ago when English schools basketball (or whoever runs the comps) sent an email out to all schools saying they would be barred from their competion(s) if they entered into other comps. All of this could of been addressed but hasnt.

  7. GB Reality Check

    December 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Some thoughts since hearing the news!

    1. The rule for any team that wants long term success is to build from the foundation up! Throwing money at the elite end for short term gains is a recipe for failure! ONLY WHEN FIBA GOT INVOLVED AND TOLD GB THAT WE NEEDED PLANS TO 2016 DID WE START TO SEE A SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY THROWN INTO THE FOUNDATION/FUTURE.

    2. For a country that has never had any international basketball success. We finally get funding that could change the future and make British Basketball a respected basketball nation….. but instead of being resourceful with our money we have treat players and staff like we have a never ending pot of money.

    * Players staying in 4/5* hotels, luxury coaches, training camps in Houston, events like GameON GB where we can only fill a 1/4 of the O2 arena… Paying expenses for U20’s and Mens to travel back and forth to the USA.

    * Front office staff and head coaches making £100,000+… With Expenses that would be a good full time salary to most working class people.

    * Paying for a certain staff member to sit in Canada on a hefty Salary to recruit and monitor North American Talent!

    * Many, many more examples!!

    Maybe if they had spent more money on developing GB basketball and less money on fooling people into thinking we were a rich basketball Nation we would be in a more stable position right now!

    3. I am all for bringing in a couple of GREAT international coaches… BUT put a coaching pathway in place so we can have British assistant coaches, team analysts etc that can bring what they have learned back to our youth players and domestic leagues!
    Chris Finch, Paul Modeski, Nick Nurse, Ron Wuotila… Not really helping our coaching development very much…

    AND DON’T GET ME WRONG IF THEY WOULD HAVE WON SOME GAMES, I WOULD BE QUIET! BUT ANYONE WHO WATCHED THE OLYMPICS SAW THAT TECHNICALLY AND TACTICALLY WE WERE INFERIOR.

    4. With 8.5 million and a NBA star… They have done NOTHING to promote elite basketball in this country!! SAM NETER DID MORE PROMOTIONAL WORK AND GOT MORE PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR FREE THAN GB DID IN 5 YEARS! That says it all to me!

    • JohnB2

      December 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      I agree with most of this. And I wil add that in the past 6 years since we had the funding a lot of areas went downhill rather then improve. We used to have Rhondda Rebels in Europe and most of the better English female players in our leagues – thgis is not the case anymore. Why not invest some of themoney in them?! The same is valid for the men’s side of the game, why we did not put all better Futures players together all year around to play in the BBL and in the Eurochallenge as many people suggested? With a British coaching staff to learn and get tested in international competition.How much was Wuotilla earning to stay in Canada and do nothing? What exactly is Spice doing for most of the year when they are only active for 3-4 months in the summer?

  8. lemarko

    December 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Very sad, this is a community engagement sport amongst some of the most deprived and marginalised communities in the UK. An alternative to tennis, rowing and archery, this is a largely inner city sport which is key to mentoring young people, tacking public health issues and criminality. GB Basketball needs to present this as legacy, an alternative to boot camps as a means to tackling social exclusion. Attract the attention of Boris, London Mayor to make the case for all cities. Just look at the evidence of poor Americans, largely Afro-Amercians, who are able to participate in post-graduate/US college. And yes it is also commercially viable, with the most global sports league in the World in the NBA. It is up to GB basketball to make a more rounded, globally and locally oriented case. Go to it!.

  9. JohnB2

    December 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    This is explored for years with many projects funded through various sources. It has nothing to do with performance funding though. It is commercially viable if the leagues such as BBL are of high standard (they are not), or if the GB teams are genuinely World class, also not the case at present. If I have to invest my private money in any sport in the UK, it will not be basketball at this point because there is no value and no return.

  10. Phil

    December 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I have been following all changes in various sports post-Olympics, read the reviews of swimming and a few others. We have performance directors leaving their jobs because they did not hit targets, even though in athletics we were brilliant!! I’ve seen nothing so far from GB Basketball, neither any accountability by it’s leadership. The Performance Director, a person with zero basketball knowledge and experience, has been on this high paid position (and team bench!) for 6 years. Now, after GB failed to meet UK Sport targets and basketball lost ALL funding,my question is – when Chris Spice will resign,or when will he be releaved from hias duties?

  11. JohnB

    December 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Could he be the “wasted Spice”?

  12. JohnB2

    December 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    After the comments of the Sport’sMinister Hugh Robertson on Radio 5 this morning thare is clearly no hope for any funding. In his view we failed last time around and the governing body is shambles…enough said!

  13. Dpeti

    December 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Assuming everything said in all he above comments is true, and that there will be no funding for GB and the funding for EB will be kept at the same level as present, just where DO we go from here?

    Do we all simply give up the ghost and continue playing, as said before, for the love and fun of the game, or is something done to effect change?

    I think that after so many years in the sport the french phrase Deja vu seems the most appropriate.

    • Thomas

      December 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      I think the first step would be to go back to a pre-BBF, there’s no need for 2 governing bodies with double (at least- given the reports of BBF board members massive salaries & 5* expenses!) administration costs – then a proper long term plan needs to be formulated for the league and national team from the bottom up. No hollow quick fixes, no money down the drain on team GB, no north america training camps, no scouts looking for NBA players with English grandparents… lets focusing on getting a good core of players here, and build!

  14. Fan

    January 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    A quote from another sport that might possibly be applicable to our bsport.

    “I wish them all the best. In sport, you always find that the people who play are OK. It’s the ones that don’t play that cause all the problems.”

  15. Georgio

    January 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

    All this talk about petitions and unfair treatment of GB basketball – what is all this about?! The men´s team was a total disaster last summer and lost almost of all their prep games, then all but one versus deflated China on the last day. Who in their right mind will put money into this?! You never qualified for the Eurobasket 2013, FIBA gave you a place because you hosted the Olympics!
    Just focus on building your clubs and leagues to catch-up with the rest of Europe – you are still a 100 years behind. Get the people who can build basketball, not big spenders who jump ship when the cash dries-up.

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