- National Teams
Sevenoaks Suns have announced they are withdrawing from the WBBL next season due to rising costs.
In a statement released on their website, the club said:
After great consideration, the Sevenoaks Suns will be unable to participate in the 2023-24 WBBL season.
This difficult decision was made for financial and administrative reasons. Our WBBL team has seen the costs of participating in the league dramatically increase over the past few years making its current financial model unsustainable.
We are hopeful that a new model can be worked out to enable the team to return for the 2024-25 WBBL season.
We’re proud to have been a part of the growth of the women’s game in the 9 years since the WBBL was founded and remain committed to building women’s basketball in Britain.
For now, thank you to all of the Suns players past and present and everyone who has supported us and been part of the extended Suns family. Once a Sun, always a Sun.
Head coach Len Busch is reported to have ploughed £100,000 of his own money into one of the WBBL’s most successful franchises.
“I don’t see any way in the short term for it to become a viable business,” Busch told BBC Radio Kent.
“This year was particularly complicated. It cost a lot more money. The league’s becoming a bit more professional.
“I just woke up one day and said ‘this is crazy, I’ve spent well over £100,000 on this’. It’s just untenable.
“We were unable to develop any meaningful ticket revenue. We have no sponsorship really and it was all on the back of my wife and I funding it. We just can’t do it any more.
“It was a wonderful run, very enjoyable and lots of good memories, but financially it’s a no-go.”
The move comes as the London Lions have become the dominant force in the league, having been taken over by Miami-based private equity firm 777 Partners in 2020.
Since 2017, the Suns have won the WBBL championship and play-offs three times each, while also lifting the WBBL Trophy in 2017 and the WBBL Cup in 2020.