Independent directors resign from British Basketball board
British Basketball’s board, led by chair Ed Warner, met today to discuss yesterday’s General Meeting of the organisation called at short notice by the chairs of the Home Country Associations (Basketball England, Basketball Scotland, Basketball Wales) at which British Basketball’s Articles of Association were changed to remove key powers held by the governing body.
While all seven independent directors of British Basketball - Warner, Mark Clark, Sadie Mason, John Zerafa, Andrew Billingham, Andrew Borrie and Emir Feisal - had previously expressed a desire to continue discussions about the future of the game, after yesterday’s hostile action by the Home Country Associations, they believe that further attempts to engage them in discussion would be futile and have reluctantly decided to resign their posts with immediate effect.
Ed Warner, outgoing Chair of British Basketball, said:
“Following yesterday’s peremptory, unconstitutional actions by the HCA chairs, my six independent director colleagues and I have decided today to resign from the board of British Basketball with immediate effect."
“In the seven weeks in which I have been with British Basketball, working with my fellow directors and the staff to find a collaborative solution to the financial challenges facing the game, I have repeatedly encountered intransigence and aggression from the chairs of the Home Countries."
“I cannot in all conscience lead an organisation whose three members are so unwilling to work collectively, so devoid of ambition for the game, so full of disdain for Great Britain players and, as evidenced by their actions yesterday, so apparently lacking in professional integrity."
“I have written to the Minister for Sport to thank her for the generous financial lifeline that she recently extended to basketball, and to apologise that the opportunity this clearly presented to create a vibrant future for GB teams at all age groups appears to have been wilfully squandered for reasons that remain entirely unclear. I extend that apology to every one of the basketball family in Great Britain, players, coaches, officials and fans alike."
“It is now for the many members of Basketball England, Scotland and Wales to ask themselves whether the leaders of the organisations they belong to are fit for purpose to lead this great game."
“All of the independent directors would like to thank the five staff of British Basketball for their dedication and hard work throughout the recent difficult period. Finally, but most importantly, this summer six GB teams are taking to the court in international competition and we wish them every success representing their country.”
Mark Clark, Performance Director for British Basketball, said:
“Yesterday was the saddest day of my basketball life.
“The actions that led to the HCA chairs forcing through their proposals without reference or response to the senior players, professional staff and members gives me no option but to resign from the British Basketball board."
“I will continue to fulfil my performance role as I have made commitments to players, coaches, parents and British Basketball staff."
“I remain committed to our game at all levels and its future and genuinely feel that yesterday could have seen areas of agreement that would have given a joint way forward. The refusal to discuss and elaborate on the HCA proposal by their chairs and the proposal’s author removed that opportunity."
“After ignoring senior players and professional staff, our game is on a course that highlights division and lack of aspiration."
“As I said, the saddest day of my basketball life ends with me stepping away from trying to help drive this game where it can help all members in all communities in so many ways.”
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