Mark Clark has stepped down from his position as Great Britain’s Performance Director, the British Basketball Federation announced today.
Sources close to the situation say his resignation after two years in post comes from what he perceives to be a lack of universal support from the Home Country Associations (HCAs) and their current direction, following the takeover of the BBF last summer.
Clark was the only basketball-specific high-performance member of staff employed by the BBF, and represents the last figurehead from the previous regime. In addition, Hoopsfix has learned that the two final administrators of the GB programmes have been informed they are being made redundant, meaning there will be no holdovers from prior to the takeover.
British Basketball Federation announces Mark Clark has stepped down as Performance Director – the only basketball-specific person they had on staff. Two administrators left who I'm told are being made redundant. Home Country Associations have successfully cleared house.
— Hoopsfix 🇬🇧🏀 (@Hoopsfix) April 2, 2019
“I want to thank all the National Team staff, the players, their clubs and the Programme Managers, who over the last two years I’ve had the honour to work with,” said Clark in a statement. “They have enabled us to achieve continued success, qualifying for EuroBasket 2017 and EuroBasket Women 2019, and achieving success at age group levels, including two A Division teams.”
Clark’s involvement with the GB and England programmes dates back to 1987 when he first began coaching internationally, and in the Performance Director role has overseen a number of successes at both junior and senior level, including most recently the qualification of the Senior Women’s team for EuroBasket 2019.
Hoopsfix understands the Board Chairs will be meeting on Thursday to discuss next steps. The BBF pointed to ‘financial constraints’ as a factor in their decision-making process.
“Moving forward, the BBF have set out the ambition to deliver success this year within the current financial constraints that they face,” the statement read. “To do that, the organisation must transition from a high cost base that hasn’t been sustainable in the past to a more stable position that provides appeal to investors going forward.
“A BBF Performance Management Group comprising of the Performance Leads from each Home Nation will continue to support the various National Teams for an interim period. A number of practical developments both on and off the court must continue to be delivered during an important transition year for GB Basketball, aided by the full and active support of each Home Nation. ”
Basketball England have underwritten the cost of the GB junior national teams for 2019 and members of the Performance Management Group will be meeting with the relevant Head Coaches this week to jointly plan the detailed delivery of each programme.
BBF Chair Maurice Watkins added:
“On behalf of the BBF, I would like to thank Mark for his tireless work over the last two years and for the part he has played in enabling a number of successes across the sport at the very highest level. His input and commitment during a period of change cannot be understated and we wish him all the best for the future.”
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