The deal is designed to allow the BBL’s clubs the security to build for a long-term future, while, at the same time, setting demanding performance standards in commercial, financial, player pathway, coaching and other areas, to drive the development of the men’s and women’s game and the BBL/WBBL clubs. An outline Heads of Terms was agreed late last year, and the final licence will come into force ahead of the new BBL season tipping off in late September.
Some of the new performance standards include minimum salary levels for players, enhanced player welfare, requirements to provide improved and high quality playing facilities, and longer-term plans for venue development, to improve the game day experience for fans in order. The deal also includes a requirement for governance reform, with clubs retaining their shareholder positions, and the BBL being managed by a board of directors, with greater independence.
This 10 year licence deal provides longer-term security, and a platform to build upon for the BBL, who have secured regular broadcast commitments across the league season via their partnerships with the Perform Group, BBC Sport and production company Televideo. The BBL will also showcase a brand new “All-Stars” tournament this autumn in partnership with Matchroom Sport and Sky Sports.
Having recruited a new independent Board of Directors, which includes recognised figures in world of British basketball, the BBF is focusing on the further development of the elite side of the sport through its recognition in October 2016 as FIBA’s national governing body for Great Britain.
This licence agreement is one of the key outcomes in relation to Quality Leagues and Clubs, as set out in the Transforming Basketball In Britain Together 2016-2028, published in May 2016.
BBF Chairman Ian Curryer says, “This is a significant step forward in one of the must under-developed team sports in Great Britain. This long term deal is aimed at providing very real prospects of not just improving the fortunes of the domestic league but increasing the chance of national sporting success”
BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker stated, “We are absolutely delighted to reach this ground breaking deal with the BBF. The BBL clubs are all committed to growing the game, improving the fan experience, and raising standards, and this licence provides a robust framework within which to make those developments. It has taken some considerable time to get this agreement negotiated, but we are all confident it will provide the game with a solid platform to grow the professional men’s Club game in the UK.”
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