Basketball in Australia in crisis as another team attempts to walk away.
Owners of the Townsville Crocodiles have stunned the National Basketball League by handing back their licence saying the franchise is not financially viable.
The sudden news has taken the entire basketball community aback, as officials scramble to try and save the side.
Barrier Reef Basketball Pty Ltd, who owns the Crocs licence, has reported losses of $2.5 million over the past six years, forcing chairman George Colbran said to walk away from his investment.
“What that means effectively is that unless a new entity wishes to take up the license in the very near future, the Townsville Crocodiles will not be participating in the 2013-14 NBL competition after 20 years,” Colbran said
The news of the fold conflicts recent events at the club, with the Crocs re-signing young guard Mitch Norton to another three years.
None of the other seven clubs say they had an inkling of the bombshell that was about to be dropped on the competition, and no other club has come forward expressing a desire to fold.
In a further twist to the developing saga, Basketball Australia chief executive officer Kristina Keneally said she would not accept Colbran’s decision to walk away as he had not given nine month notice, which is legally required.
“It came completely out of the blue,” Keneally said.
“Every other club is every bit as stunned and surprised as is the league.
“He (Colbran) has not complied with the licensing agreement requirements which state he has to prove they are insolvent, and if they want to surrender, they have to give us nine months’ notice.