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The ongoing dispute between the British Basketball Federation (BBF) and Home Country Associations (HCAs) imploded on Thursday when a scheduled meeting for further negotiations proved to be an ambush for the HCAs to effectively form a takeover of the GB body, as first reported by MVP’s Mark Woods.
With the BBF Independent Directors and Interim Chair, Ed Warner, expecting a presentation from the HCAs Chairs on their proposal for the governance and financial structure of the BBF moving forward, instead they were told an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) is being held in 40 minutes at BE Chair Clare Wardle’s office at an alternative location.
The HCAs proceeded to amend the BBF’s articles of association, removing its ability to set the rules and regulations of the sport and charge membership fees. It means the HCAs proposal – which involves running the national team programmes on a shoe-string budget and cutting the Under-20 programme – will be pushed through.
Additionally, in what is a further knock to basketball’s perception with leading figures in sport, Hoopsfix understands UK Sport were present in the initial ‘ambush’ meeting via conference call.
Basketball England followed with a statement this afternoon announcing “The Home Country Associations of England, Scotland and Wales, as the members of the British Basketball Federation (BBF), have agreed the appropriate level of budget for British Basketball for the next two years”, indicating there was no agreement from the BBF Independent Directors, adding they “are committed to putting recent disagreements behind us and working together for the benefit of a fantastic sport.”
Meanwhile, the BBF countered with their own statement, which read as follows:
“Today, in the wake of earlier consultations and a statement by Great Britain’s leading internationals, further talks were scheduled to take place between British Basketball and the Home Country Associations (HCAs) – namely, Basketball England, Basketball Scotland and Basketball Wales.
However, the HCAs refused to enter those planned discussions and called a General Meeting under the Articles of Association. Instead of the customary two weeks’ notice, this was called with just an hour’s notice.
This General Meeting forced through changes in British Basketball’s articles that remove its ability to set regulations for the game – effectively removing most of its powers.”
British Basketball chair Ed Warner added:
“It is a sad day that further negotiations have been rejected by the HCAs and it is an especially sad day for Great Britain teams whose players were exceptionally brave in coming forward on Monday evening and who will now suffer diminished support and prospects.”
“The board of British Basketball will comment further in due course.”
Mass resignations are expected from the BBF board tomorrow, with Directors unable to stand by the HCAs proposal, as relations in the sport are at their lowest point in years.
The HCAs have been contacted for further comment.
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