London City Royals have withdrawn from the British Basketball League (BBL).
The statement from the club, issued on Friday, said:
ABC BASKETBALL LIMITED TO CEASE TRADING
Following an EGM, it is with deep regret we announce shareholders have voted unanimously that ABC Basketball Limited T/A London City Royals should cease to operate with immediate effect, pending liquidation.
The Royals had a very successful first year winning the BBL Trophy and playing in the BBL Play-Off finals at the O2. Prospects for the current season were also very promising. Our vision for the Royals to create a brand that was a real ‘Force for Change’ by creating a pathway for young Londoners to achieve improved life outcomes through basketball and our elite team was something that achieved great resonance in many circles. Our vision for basketball has been well documented – we all believed in the Royals being a medium for sporting and social change in London.
However, the financial pressures of operating a London based club together with the failure to secure additional investment and sponsorship contracts has meant that the operation of an elite professional team in the BBL is no longer viable and so we must cease trading with immediate effect.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our fans, team members and playing staff for all their support during our all too short existence.
A BBL spokesperson said:
“We are obviously very disappointed by the Royals’ decision to withdraw from BBL, which will be felt across the basketball community.
“Our thoughts are particularly with Royals’ players, staff and supporters, for whom this will be an extremely difficult time.”
Royals have completed only four matches in this year’s BBL Championship, so in line with the BBL Rules their participation in the competition will be removed from the records.
Bristol, who were due to be Royals’ opponents in the BBL Trophy Quarter-Finals, will now receive a bye to the Semi-Finals.