Basketball: League in control of cast-off Bullets

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The Independent Online
THE BASKETBALL League has taken control of Birmingham Bullets following the decision by the club's owner, Harry Wrublewski, to return to Australia and the breakdown of takeover talks with the Nottingham-based Alladin Group.

The League's chief executive, Mike Smith, emphasised there is no threat to the existence of one of the Budweiser League's best-supported and most financially secure clubs: "The Birmingham franchise is important to the League and we are committed to running it for however long it takes to find new owners. There is no pressure or timescale.

"Coach Mike Finger and all of the backroom staff stay in place for the day-to-day running of the club and we will oversee the operation for them."

The recent death of his mother and an incident in which he was beaten up outside a restaurant - something he has never fully recovered from emotionally or physically - are believed to have influenced Wrublewski's decision to return to Australia with his family after seven years in England.

Birmingham's home venue at the NEC Arena hosts tomorrow's National Cup semi-finals as Newcastle Eagles play Greater London Leopards, and Sheffield Sharks take on the holders, Thames Valley Tigers.