- National Teams
The BBL has taken over the Manchester Giants franchise after the club has gone into administration, the Manchester Evening News reports.
After the league put out a statement they were ‘exploring offers from prospective third-party investors‘ at the end of March – with no mention of the club becoming insolvent with debts of over £500,000 – the Manchester Evening News saw documentation that revealed ‘Manchester Giants Limited formally entered administration on March 23 and was immediately sold to the league in a pre-packaged deal’.
“Unfortunately the timing was not quite right,” Jamie Edwards, the main driver of the Manchester Giants franchise told MEN.
“The intention was for a five to ten-year vision. This was the third year, with one of those being Covid with no fans and the second year being a move to Belle Vue.
“Coming out of a pandemic it was about building on the momentum but it was always going to need third-party investment.
“…”It has been a very challenging period, there is no getting away from that, but the most important thing is that the club is here because it could have been very different.
“My initial vision of the club was to give the city a basketball franchise that could compete in Europe. I’m glad that the club is going to continue. It has come at a cost, unfortunately.”
Due diligence on previous potential investors that new Head Coach Vince Macaulay brought to the table when he took on the role did not pass their checks, Hoopsfix can reveal, as the league now seeks a new owner for the club.
Additionally, Hoopsfix has learned the league are also majority shareholders of the Plymouth City Patriots, telling us that the BBL “are working in partnership with the Plymouth City Patriots”, with all the ownership information available on Companies House where ‘The Basketball League Ltd’ – the legal name the BBL sits under, are listed as having 75% or more of the shares of the franchise.
Though it raises questions about the governance of the league, with 777 Partners owning a 45% stake, plus the London Lions franchise, and now the league effectively owning two franchises, the BBL has told Hoopsfix that there is a shareholding structure in place that means 777 would not have over 50% of the league shareholding as it stands.
“Manchester has an illustrious history within the British Basketball League, making the Manchester Giants an extremely attractive proposition for potential third party investors,” the BBL’s Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Radin, said in their call for investors for the club.
“British Basketball is experiencing its most exciting period of growth at present and is at a critical point in its history as momentum continues to grow. Between the new investment of capital into the league, the creation of exciting partnerships, the high calibre of players in the league and the return to European competition, the BBL is just beginning to deliver on its goal to create a compelling entertainment product for our fans and marketing and distribution partners.
“The BBL is in a unique position given its popularity in the UK and our ambition is to attract interested partners who share the league’s ambition for growth and who are well equipped to support and accelerate the long growth of the Manchester Giants, it’s players, partners and fans and more broadly, the basketball community in Manchester.
He added: “We want to become one of the most competitive and exciting basketball leagues in the world and I look forward to identifying and supporting the right investor to take the Manchester Giants forward into a revolutionary new era, setting up the club to be as successful as possible.”