BBF terminates British Basketball League operating license -

BBF terminates British Basketball League operating license

BBL BBF License

The British Basketball Federation (BBF) has terminated the operating license for the British Basketball League with Basketball League Ltd with immediate effect, it was announced this morning.

In a short statement released to the media, the BBF cited serious financial concerns indicating the company is no longer able to carry out its duty as the operator of the league, pointing to the Basketball League Ltd entering into creditor arrangements with two of its largest creditors.

The termination is seven years into a 10 year agreement for the license that was reached in 2017.

It comes following months of speculation about the financial state of the league since US-based firm 777 Partners invested £7million for a 45% stake in 2021, having bought the London Lions previously, taking their percentage to 50.

777 have come under increased scrutiny in recent months, following alleged unscrupulous business practices reported by Josimar, before London asset manager Leadenhall Capital filed a lawsuit that alleged that 777 co-founders Josh Wander and Steven Pasko were “operating a giant shell game at best, and an outright Ponzi scheme at worst”.

777’s attempted takeover of Everton football club – which has since fallen through – has put their business under the spotlight, while they have recently called in turnaround and crisis management experts following the lawsuit. Wander and Pasko have since resigned from their roles.

Just last month, BBL Chair Sir Rodney Walker told The Times the league is in ‘advanced discussions with potential new investors’.

The statement read as follows:

As licensor for the British Basketball League (BBL), the British Basketball Federation (BBF) has been monitoring the financial position of Basketball League Ltd (BLL), the company with responsibility for operating the men’s professional league.

The aim has been to allow for the consolidation of recent progress and to support the league’s sustainable growth in years to come. However, information provided to the BBF concerning the finances of Basketball League Ltd, including the fact that BLL has entered into creditor arrangements with two of its largest creditors, indicates that BLL is no longer able to carry out its functions as operator of the British Basketball League. The BBF Board has therefore unanimously agreed to terminate the Licence with immediate effect.

The BBF will continue to do everything possible to protect the interests of fans, players, staff and clubs and interim measures will immediately be put in place to take on organisation of the 2024/25 season, in co-ordination with stakeholders.

Alongside this, the BBF is working to shape longer term arrangements for the effective governance and development of professional league basketball in Britain. This process will be completed as soon as possible, taking account of the BBF’s obligation to conduct robust due diligence with regard to possible investors.

The BBF regrets the need to take these actions but is confident that standards in the governance and management of professional basketball in Britain will continue to rise, matching the clear progress already being made by GB basketball teams at elite level and the exciting growth of interest and participation in the game that has been witnessed more broadly.

More to come.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *