The remainder of the British Basketball League season has been cancelled following the continued impact of the coronavirus, the league announced today.
The decision was made after the member clubs unanimously agreed that there was no viable option to allow for the season to be completed in a safe and meaningful manner.
The season was postponed on 17 March with hopes of it continuing, originally.
The BBL had been working alongside the national governing bodies as well as following advice from FIBA and the UK Government to explore all the available options to resume play.
But now with the decision to end the campaign, and based on multiple teams mathematically capable of winning, the independent directors of the BBL Management Board agreed that there would be no championship winner.
“Obviously this is not the way anyone wanted to see the season end and we worked hard to try to find an alternative solution,” BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker said.
“The 2019/20 season was one of the most exciting and competitive we’ve seen and shaping up to a very exciting finish, and we look forward to building on that as we move into the new 2020/21 season.
“Looking back, we had the biggest crowd ever at the BBL Cup Final at The Arena, Birmingham in January, when over 9,000 fans enjoyed a resurgent Worcester Wolves beating a Bristol Flyers team in their first final, and we were on track for our highest ever revenues for the BBL Playoff Final at The O2, which was due to take place two weeks ago.
“In addition, the race for the BBL Championship title was the most open for many years, so clearly we will have a lot of disappointed fans.
“But we looked at every option, including playing behind closed doors or restarting the season in the summer, in order that we could get to a League and Playoff winners, but with the continued uncertainty, we just ran out of time and options.
“The clubs were united that now was the right time to bring the current season to a close.”
The BBL are keeping their options open as to the exact starting date for the new season, pending further Government advice of what will be allowable for indoor areas but are aiming for the season to start in the autumn.
“We’re working towards starting in the autumn as we would be normally,” BBL Chief Operating Officer, Andy Webb said.
“But we will only set our launch date when we have information from the Government that it is safe to do so.”
The United Kingdom has had more than 275,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 38,489 deaths as of Sunday 31 May.