Following on from the landmark ten-year deal between the British Basketball League and British Basketball, the federation’s chairman Ian Curryer believes that there is a place to develop new franchises but admits that it will take time.
A highlighted aim for this new deal was a possible expansion of the BBL itself from 12 teams to 20-24 clubs and Curryer even hinted about a probable promotion, relegation battle in the future.
“This is not a licence for today, this is a liecnce for ten years time, and it may well take us beyond ten years for us to expand this league,” Curryer said in London ahead of Great Britain’s pre-Eurobasket warm-up against Greece on Saturday.
“We looked at places like London and how many clubs might be sustainable. We looked at places like Manchester, looking towards an expanded league in that sort of level isn’t something we can do today but we are trying to inject towards that ten-year period and it’s something we can definitely develop.”
Expanding the league has been tried, but in most cases has failed, most notably with two Birmingham franchises, the Panthers and Knights that only lasted one season and the Mersey Tigers who were dropped from the BBL in 2013 following financial issues.
Curryer admits that it is a worry for accepting future franchises in the ten-year window but, along with newly enforced franchise committee in place, these issues won’t be as frequent.
“It’s a worry but I don’t think that we are expected to move in an arbitrary sense,” admits Curryer.
“We will have a franchise committee that will have some teeth in terms of viability of clubs and looking at the annual metrics and how clubs perform we’ll have to take a view about sustainability of the current clubs. Hence the performance frame work of the new licence.”