Basketball: Season tips off on positive note

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The new British Basketball League season tips off this weekend and - unusually - the sounds from off-stage are quietly, but definitely, positive.

The new British Basketball League season tips off this weekend and - unusually - the sounds from off-stage are quietly, but definitely, positive.

True, the BBL again has no sponsors for any of its four major competitions and no network television coverage. True, prestigious venues such as the Sheffield, Manchester and London Arenas and the NIA and NEC in Birmingham have long been absent from fixture lists.

But, after losing one club in each of the previous three close seasons, the BBL hit the expansion button again this summer by enticing Plymouth Raiders from the second tier English Basketball League, where last season they won both the League and National Cup titles.

And with club finances now sensibly and profitably linked to local sponsorship and coaching initiatives with schools, councils and community groups, the sport's governing body, England Basketball (EB), has also transformed its own finances.

When Keith Mair took over as chief executive, EB's 2002 accounts showed they were almost down to small change in the bank. But EB ended the last financial year with a surplus of more than £150,000.

And sounder finances have enabled the resurrection of the senior men's international programme, vital leading up to the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Comments