By Daniel Etchells

Basketball England and the British Basketball League are keen to move forward together after a recent public fallout ©Basketball EnglandBasketball England and the British Basketball League (BBL) have held talks to try to repair relations following a recent public row between the two parties.

There was a positive outcome from the meeting, it is claimed, "with the two groups committed to working together to find the best solution for the development of basketball in England".

The row started after Basketball England announced a licence review committee had been set up to "consider all options including but not limited to a competitive tender process and negotiation with the existing licensee of the professional basketball league, with a view to renewing existing arrangements".

The announcement was perceived as a potentially major blow for the BBL, the current licensee holder for the professional league in the UK, and led to a recent public war of words after a potential £36 million ($55 million/€49 million) to £40 million ($62 million/€54 million) investment pot was uncovered.

The investment is led by an unnamed American private equity firm, which is looking to expand the sport in the UK and turn it into a commercially viable product, website claimed. 

The UK is seen as one of the last emerging basketball markets in the world and the firm involved in the investment believes it will see a return in five to seven years.

Responding to the announcement, BBL chairman Ed Percival questioned Basketball England's ability to run the sport and pointed out that the BBL Foundation and its Club equivalents have secured more than £7.5 million ($11 million/€10 million) in public sector funding for basketball community programmes and projects. 

The British Basketball League was founded in 1987 ©British Basketball LeagueThe British Basketball League was founded in 1987 ©British Basketball League

"The BBL notes that, in all the many discussions with Basketball England over the last three years, all of which are documented, no material concerns were identified by Basketball England, and BBL was assured the contract arrangements they have in place with Basketball England would be extended with minimal change," read the statement.

"Regarding investment proposals for British basketball, the BBL would be pleased to engage with any party that had a serious proposition for investment in basketball in Britain, provided it is done in a professional, legal, and ethical way."

Despite the fallout, the recent meeting between Basketball England and the BBL appears to have eased tensions. 

A more holistic approach to investment within the sport, along with greater transparency in communication between the organisations have been identified as important factors to progress the sport and current licence review process forward.

"Basketball England and the BBL are dedicated to providing the best possible strategy to help basketball achieve its potential and will continue to work productively together throughout the forthcoming developments of the sport," read a joint statement from the two organisations.

"Representatives from both organisations will meet again as soon as practical."

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