The Logan based SEQ Stars WNBL club is highly unlikely to take to the court next season with Basketball Australia and the league unable to come to terms with any of the interested parties with the next season looming.
The club was put into the hands of liquidators at the start of February and players were told their season would end prematurely, only for Logan City Council to facilitate a number of sponsors and community members who came to the team’s aid, cobbling enough money to allow the players to complete the season, in which they finished third after losing the preliminary final to eventual champion the Townsvile Fire.
Basketball Australia general manager of WNBL and competitions Paul Maley told the Times the likelihood of the team going ahead was highly unlikely with time running out for any potential new ownership to get everything ready for the club to successfully take to the court in season 2016/2017.
“Unfortunately talks have stalled a little bit, not because there was any obstacles or anything that became unworkable, the interested parties seemed really interested, but after some initial meeting time marches on and at this point I would say it’s looking less likely that the team will go ahead because the timelines are incredibly short,”he said.
“Although we would be technically talking about a transfer of licence somebody’s going to have to almost start from scratch and put in place a governing structure, a management structure, budgets, community engagement and marketing plan and have the financial wherewithal sorted out so it’s a big task.
“Then to fall in line operationally in terms of uniforms design and all that sort of stuff in time to order before the beginning of the season, it just seems that we are running out of time.”
Mr Maley said despite the failure to find someone to take on the team’s licence, he was still confident that a Logan based WNBL club was in the league’s future and that it could be successful despite the collapse of the Stars and the previous Logan based team the Logan Thunder.
“I don’t think it’s impossible but as time goes on it seems less and less likely there will be a team this year, but that’s specifically for the start of the 2016/17 season, whether or not, because the interest seems genuine from some good people, maybe what happens is it just takes more time and there is a bid to consider for the 2017/2018 season,” he said.
“Absolutely a team can be successful in the area, our dealings with Logan City Council were nothing but really really impressive, the commitment to the idea from the city council, we’ve seen the work ethic and the passion and the capacity that they have is great, whoever it would be, they should play a vital role, just in terms of facilitation and cooperation and assistance on a number of fronts, they’re not the ones to manage a WNBL club, they don’t want to be the entity that holds the licence but they’re there to support entity that would.”
The club’s players who include Australian Opals Rachel Jarry and Bec Allen are now free to negotiate with other clubs.
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