For those too lazy to read the article, the corporate entity behind the Crocs has pulled the pin saying they cannot continue after losing $2.5m in the last six years. They're hoping that someone else will be able to pick it up with a community model that is more sustainable.
The biggest problem was a failure to get sponsors to spend money on a poor-value marketing venture that is an NBL franchise in a regional centre, when you could spend money supporting the Cowboys (more clout, more "cool" factor, bigger crowds, brand name players, national exposure).
You just don't have those "White Knight" sponsors any more who would put their businesses' money into the club just because they were supporters of basketball.
From anecdotal evidence a lot of the sponsorship was lost after the axing of John Rillie and then Corey Williams and it was all downhill from there.
That combined with poor ticket sales and penny-pinching on rosters due to the lack of revenue is just a vicious cycle that is very difficult to break.
This is big and must be pretty concerning for BA. Another owner pulling up stumps at season's end for the second successive season. At least this one gave plenty of warning. According to the article, this was foreshadowed at the last AGM.
What are the odds of the licence being picked up locally and for a Townsville team to continue? Does Townsville have the same latent community support as Cairns and Wollongong were able to engage and activate? I get the impression it's not as strong as it was 5-10 years ago, which underlies this situation. But will this wake some people up and get them involved again?
BA really needs to bite the bullet and put it's cash behind the Brisbane bid as it reportedly did with the Kings.
As sad as it would be to lose the Crocs, an 8-team league with only two regionals actually leaves the league in a stronger place commercially.
Of course, if they cant get the Brisbane bid up and no one steps forward to keep Townsville alive then things are really starting to teeter.
Bit average of the Crocs to sign Mitch Norton to a 3-year deal and then do this a few days later.
How will Brisbane be any better?
They will have even less comunnity support than Townsville, which is the underlying problem here: fans through the gate and sponsors on the books. In Brisbane's title season their arena was a ghost town.
It has nothing to do with TV revenue...
I don't like the Crocs' chances of a community model though. Although this might bring a few old supporters out of the woodwork if their community buy-in will ensure transparency and accountability. But who knows....
Firstly, from my reading only, Anstey on Twitter appears to be suggesting that this is as much about trying to drum up additional ownership support for the club as anything? e.g., I don't think the Hawks were getting quite the same level of support from NRE before shit got real. Anstey's two comments:
Everybody take a deep breath and wait for facts to come out. Sometimes people say things to gain leverage. @NBL
Lets not jump at shadows. Now is when bball needs its true fans to hang tough. Be patient. If you are a Crocs fan, buy a membership today!
Secondly, as sad as it is to say on the day the team goes off in an ambulance, Brisbane would be the preferred option for an NBL team almost entirely because of the TV situation. Regional teams are pretty useless for broadcast. As ATF said on Twitter:
Brisbane TV ratings out rate the other major cities half of the time, and they don't have an NBL team!The sponsorship market is not going to get easier in a hurry. Even getting all the little things right is not going to solve financial problems for owners. The successful sporting leagues rely heavily on TV deals, as far as I know. Any key to drastic improvement has got to come from a strong TV deal. With NBL.TV, I don't care if we go back to Fox to be honest. I'd be happy enough with the Fox/SBS deal that Netball arranged given all the mainstream stations are so horrible these days.
I am from Brisbane and I am not sure if it will work to get a Brisbane team here unless there was advertising through the newspapers and other forms of media. I am one of the only people in my school who follows NBL and most people at my school know the Bullets but don't even know they died. BUT I know there are a sustainable amount of Bullets supporters, we just need to attract the younger generation back to the NBL. An ideal stadium for the Bullets would be Pat Rafter arena, which is a 5000+ stadium the only problem is that the roof doesn't cover the sides of the stadium. This could be fixed by a government grant, but that doesn't seem likely because the Queensland government are not spending much because of our debts. I hope the Crocs situation can be fixed and we must not rush into new teams or the past will come back to haunt us. SAVE THE CROCS!
Hopefully this will be a catalyst for the league and BA to really look at everything, and actually do some work. Could this be the last nail that puts a season on hold for a little while the powers that be move things around like the players (Holmes) have said they want. Hopefully things aren't rushed as always
Yes, but the thing is fans have said it also, which is probably where players got the ideas for some things. Not to mention, doing the same thing over and over again hasn't worked for the league, so maybe listening to the players/fans is what they need to do!
Wow, on the face of it this is grave news indeed...
Obviously we need to see what outcomes eventuate and of course what BA and the NBL give the public in their official statements, but not good at all for the competition, especially right now during the finals!
It does highlight the one factor that is killing the league, that of course is not rocket science, it is cashflow...
We all know the problem, what is the solution?
Again, we should all realise that with few exceptions, professional sport is not a profitable business in this country.
A number (multiple) of AFL clubs are losing money, many NRL, I believe all Super 15 clubs and of course, NBL clubs. A-league combined lost tens of millions last year and ANZ championship must be a huge struggle.
We have an unsustainable model for professional sport. In the case of the NBL its alright for people here to ask BA/NBL to do more, but what more can you expect them to do?
The NBL made a major strategic blunder going so hard after nbl.tv last year, and we'll see how it unfolds, but with woeful subscription numbers just reminding the major broadcasters how unimportant and undesirable the league is, someone should pay with their job for that one. If Townsville go, there surely must be a trigger for Ten to walk away from something they don't want anyway.
Otherwise, I cannot see what else the league could have done. It is in a pitiful condition, and is in a downward spiral.
People forget that all but a couple of NRL teams would fall over tomorrow if it weren't for the money their pokies bring in at each club's leagues club. NBL enjoys no such supplementary income.
A side point: All Crocs players' contracts are void so Holmes, PC, Blanchfield, Hinder and Norton are now free agents, whether or not a community model or club saviour takes up the licence.
Also the franchise won't have to pay out Woolpert and Flynn.
The simple facts are that basketball is not a major sport here in Australia. That might be difficult for people here to accept, because we are all hoops fans.
Apart from the boom period in the 90s when the Powerhouse was packed and Brisbane were playing out of a 15000 seat stadium, for the rest of its existence the NBL has not had the support to be a major player on the Australian sporting scene.
The NBL and the players need to realise that basketball in Australia is not a career. The end result will either be that the NBL folds completely, or we accept a watered-down semi professional league where players play and train after their day jobs. Of course the elite players will chase the $$$ overseas and we will be left with a much weakened league.
Unfortunately that appears to be the reality we are facing.
Before the $1 offer they were between 3000-4000.
Having NBL.TV cover each game has resulted in over 500,000 extra eye balls this season, generated significant revenue and given the NBL much greater flexibility in future negotiations with networks because it already has a product to sell/offer.
That has been a real bonus for the NBL, but it needs to make sure it uses it right and improves the product next season.
You know what $$$ the league was built on the back of the semi pro days, i don't enjoy the NBL anymore or any less today than i did then.
If some primadonnas need a haircut and a reality check then so be it. NBL wages should be a top up to a day job or university study , not a full time profession.
Players currently train 12 hours per week on court, plus gym sessions etc etc also so they can play 30 minutes at best on a weekend.
If Perth and NZ can be profitable, why can't the others? There are no roadblocks in the way to NBL sustainability other than incompetent owners and administrators.
The only problem is: anyone who is competent wouldn't get involved at this point, because then they wouldn't be competent business people now would they...
So again, you are relying on people to save our game who are: well-off financially, competent in business and have a wide scope of vision, and basketball fans who are willing to suck it up for the good of the game.
A very small demographic indeed...
Which is why the changes must come from the top and in effect legislate so that the incompetent administrators are saved from themselves.
If Perth and NZ can be profitable, why can't the others? There are no roadblocks in the way to NBL sustainability other than incompetent owners and administrators."
Sorry Mick but I think there's some nonsense in your post as well.
There is no inherent income in having a pro sports team.
If I started up a national badminton league tomorrow with a $1M salary cap, big stadiums and interstate flights then it would take a lot more than just "competent owners and administrators" to make it sustainable.
If Perth & Melbourne can make AFL teams hugely profitable then why can't Auckland? Or Sydney or Brisbane?
Sure, decent staff is a given, but there's a hell of a lot more to it. At the end of the day we're still trying to sell a sport that there just isn't a great deal of demand yet from people to watch, and therefore sponsor.
I think you misunderstood the flexibility side of it Nat! How many subscribers they have isnt going to have any real impact on a TV deal.
It's the product NBL.TV gives them to offer/sell that gives them flexibility.
The $1 deal was to get more subscribers for next season and build up their database.
It's interesting DD, 3-of-8 NBL clubs will make a profit this season, that's the best ratio in a long time. The problem is there are clubs who absolutely need revenue from the league, and if these clubs dont survive neither will the league in it's current form.
It's tough times, no doubt.
Why would the Crocs sellout home games five years ago and then all of a sudden no one wants to come?
You can't tell me that "demand for people to watch, and therefore sponsor" dropped in that short a span because of some widespread popular regression in basketball's popularity as a sport. It is absolutely and directly linked to the management and administration in that period of that one particular franchise.
The point is, there ain't much to do in Townsville on a Friday night, I know, I used to the live there.
There isn't exactly a crowded market of competition for entertainment. There are other factors at play here...
I heard this at about 9 & still can't believe it. It seems the owners have dipped into their pockets enough already and wouldn't do it again. They had a vote and it wasn't unanimous but the majority voted to wind up the business. It is hard to blame them given the 2.5million that had already covered.
The players found out through various methods; mostly social media, grapevine & media ringing to get their thoughts. Pat Reidy called everyone in and told them all he knew (which was not much) and that they were given 2weeks notice + paid the rest of this month's salary.
To keep the Crocs (& maybe the NBL) Townsville needs to put their money up and quickly work towards a community model. I'm not sure how many people would bring forward their money considering crowds and interest here have dropped plus most of the big $ business men in Townsville were already part of the board!
I am devastated, shocked but not defeated... I love the Crocs and I'm going to fight to keep them!!!
NBL wages should be a top up to a day job or university study , not a full time profession.I think the NBL can still be F/T for a majority of players but I don't think a reduced salary cap would have as big a downside for the league as it would be helpful for owners.
Stripping 10% from salaries, and/or making 9th, 10th and 11th men P/T wages wouldn't force that much talent from the league IMO. I wonder if the minimum wage in the league is too high when you compare the impact on games of a 10th man (say, Vasiljevic, D Jackson, Macmillan) and an 8th man (say, Creek, Boucher, Demos).
Could play a shortened season (same number of games and income from tickets) to compensate for a cap reduction.
Here's what I'm talking about in terms of the club's short-sightedness. An oversimplified version, starting from what I call the "beginning of the end" for this once proud franchise:
"Oh, John Rillie just hit an NBL playoffs record ten three pointers in a playoff elimination game to knock out our arch rivals Perth in an AWAY game. Let's release him so the fans don't get too attached to one of the most likeable personalities in the history of the club and we have to offer him a front office position when he retires here next season.
Oh, revenues are slightly down after the GFC. Let's increase ticket prices to make up for the shortfall.
Oh, fewer people are buying tickets because of the increase in price, we better make sure we don't spend all of the cap so we can cover that shortfall.
Oh, no one wants to come to the games because the team isn't any good, we better make sure we increase the ticket prices, EVEN THOUGH CAIRNS CHARGES A PITTANCE OF WHAT A SEAT COSTS IN TOWNSVILLE, to make up for that shortfall.
Shit, with those expensive seats and no one coming through the door, we better make sure our roster is even cheaper this year so we can cover it.
Oh, we're bankrupt."
I will be happy to pony up the dough for a community model if the right people are involved...
The owners are supposed to be astute business people. They have subsidised the Crocs for the last 6 years at least and are tired of losing money.
Like Adelaide the community model should have been done ages ago. Way too late now.
Hawks bleeding, Kings losing more the $1,000,000 this season and have already been told that their salary cap next season will be less. If there is a next season.
And Isaac is absolutely right.
When a fair chunk of the league isn't spending the full cap, you have to be asking yourself, "is it too high for a sustainable competition?"
I wouldn't like to see the cap going any lower for skill reasons, but am absolutely against it being raised at all in the immediate or medium-term future of the league.
Of the players Townsville started the season with, who would be missing if the cap was reduced 10%? Of the full roster, I can only think of Ervin and Nevill and even those guys could be squeezed in if others went cheap. Same roster with Corin Henry and Will Hudson would fit and not be completely useless. (You could get both those imports for the same price as Ervin alone, I assume.)
You can't flog a dead horse! NBL should fold.
Until BA make major changes the elite league in this country it is doomed. It will be gone in 2-3 years anyway so why not fold now before more damage is done to clubs who may be involved in a new format.
Drop the cap to 400K, get teams out of expensive venues and back into the community venues for a few years. Teams need to train at night so players can get jobs during the day to subsidize their incomes then SLOWLY rebuild it.
The League is a complete basket case and while they continue to try to keep it where it is it will fail dismally.
It needs to restart from scratch and if we lose a generation of players O/S so be it. SEABL shows we can still look after the majority of our jnr players in a high standard competition over winter.
What pisses me off is if Barrier Reef Basketball had made this announcement a year or six months ago, it would have left plenty of time to drum up interest in the license from a private consortium or a comunnity model. They have known about this for a long time and could have been making the transition before it was too late.
Dropping this bombshell now just means that the Crocs will have to sit out at least a season, if they come back at all. There is no way a community model can get their shit together in time for an October season launch.
Stubbornness and non-transparency at work...
Well the free agent pool just got a little deeper. Who wants Blanchfield, Norton and PC?
Sorry Paul, the industry, like the web industry, is smart enough to deal in uniques now - TV has dealt that way for a long time. The Voice attracted 2 million viewers last night and will average 1.2 million per night for the remainder of the season (or whatever). That is how the product will be talked about.
And its not 500,000 extra eyeballs. Some, if not all of those were already watching the FTA offering.
3000-4000 subscribers sends a very clear message to broadcasters, and that message is, the product, with only two games per week on FTA, is not in demand enough to justify a significant subscriber base.
If there are only 3000-4000 individuals rusted on enough to buy the product, spread amongst seven clubs, that is disastrous, and any rights buyer will know that, coupled with Ten's terrible ratings.
If the worst is realised & its 7 teams it is the end of the NBL it is that simple!
Hopefully this is all about manoeuvring for extra government/public support in Townsville.
It will be hard to swallow but it could just be reality for aussie hoops fans but we are effectively a 6/7th tier sport in commercial value & popularity terms. (just cause kids play the sport doesn't equal cash or soccer would be number 1 by a mile)
Reduce Cap to $400K in order to keep Townsville or just wind up the league!
We can always revert to SEABL and let it be the premier comp with the suburban based teams and in a Semi-Pro mode....the standard will be less but so be it!
It hasn't hurt Soccer to have the majority of the better players being based in Europe/Asia.
More NBA teams make the playoffs than not, right?
And in the past, more than half NBL teams have made the post-season.
Meanwhile, the NBL have rejected the surrender of the Crocs' license unless they can prove insolvency:
Basketball Australia has this afternoon met with representatives from National Basketball League Clubs, in light of the Townsville McDonalds Crocodiles' moves to surrender their license to participate in the League.
It is our intention to support a viable NBL into the 2013/14 season, and we are working collaboratively with NBL Clubs to that end.
Basketball Australia will continue to work through the NBL White Paper process in order to ascertain a strategic direction - endorsed by the Basketball Australia Board and the NBL – to give the League the best opportunity at financial success.
Regarding the Crocodiles, Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally is writing to Barrier Reef Basketball Pty Ltd to advise Basketball Australia will not accept the immediate return of their license, as the Club has not complied with the terms of the NBL License Agreement which would allow immediate surrender.
An immediate surrender of license would require the club to demonstrate they are insolvent.
if the Crocs dont get up could the remaining NBL teams join the SEABL next year and have a SEABL budget roster? almost a merger of NBL and SEABL i guess. Sure some players wont stick around but atleast we will have a national league.
The middle of the road NBL teams may actually be able to make a profit if they can sustain decent crowds, etc but with a much cheaper roster.
Was just a story on the news over here, about the possibility of the Wellington Saints joining the NBL.
But they interviewed the Saints owner and he said that BA aren't too keen on having them (marketability issue)
The ANZ netball comp. is only doing so well because they pay the players peanuts. And still get really good crowds.
MACDUB, the ANZ comp is doing ok, (very well in NZ) but right now there is no competition for their athletes.
If the NBL struggles, and steps back to a semi-pro status, it faces overseas competition for its better athletes, and other sports competition for its lesser ones.
Some guys on NBL rosters now would earn more money playing state or local league footy.
The NBL was already on shaky ground before this, now with towsville appearing to fold, it's evident that the NBL in its current form can't survive.
My belief for a long time has been that the NBL has too long been concerned with the short term viability of the league, being specific, the owners have been too concerned about making a profit early on rather than creating something with long term viability to have sustained success. Not enough money has been pumped into the league, and it has been watered down to essentially keep it running. Even then, owners barely paid up as it is.
Until the NBL finds some owners who understand that to make money you gotta spend it, the NBL won't ever be able to rise in Australian sport.
Got back to semi-pro. Players work day and train at night. You can still have an NBL. Heck, that's how the NBL started and was when it was most popular! The money will be a lot less for players and some may go os. But the product may not be as bad as people think.
making a profit early on?
Seriously, I don't think anyone buys into an NBL team expecting a short term profit.
Its easy to say people haven't been working long term - but what exactly does that mean?
You might be able to say Melbourne has been working more long term this year; moving to Hisense, recruiting marquee players... but on the downside papering the house, as has been suggested, has been proved everywhere to be a short term strategy, not one for long term success.
Going back to a semi-pro league would be really beneficial.
Though, something tells me BA has too much pride to bite the bullet and say lets go to a semi-pro league.
Could be a great idea -- case of 'addition, by subtraction' or 'go back before going forward'.
Crocs: "We need to talk..."
NBL: "Ok, what's wrong?"
Crocs: "It's not you, it's me, we're breaking up"
NBL: "NOOOOOO! I can't live without you!"
Crocs: "The problems are just getting too much!"
NBL: "I'm not accepting this!I'll show you we can work"
"Sorry Paul, the industry, like the web industry, is smart enough to deal in uniques now"
Sorry HO, I wasnt talking about people watching online, that is a very small portion. What NBL.TV gives the NBL is coverage of every game to sell/give to broadcasters, as it has this year with Sky Sports.
If iiNet resigns as major sponsor it will be in no small part because of the strong exposure in NZ which is a growing market for them.
Re uniques, some sponsors/advertisers like lots of unique viewers and others like a steady market they can get repeat exposure to, depends what they are trying to achieve.
Come next rights deal, the NBL has greater flexibility in what it can do because it already has every game covered. Whether they can leverage that we will see.
Re the subscriber numbers, that will have little to no effect on a TV network, they will just look at the viewer numbers.
Kristina kicked George Colbran out of an NBL directors' meeting in Sydney yesterday and told him she didn't believe him that the Crocs were insolvent haha.
What a joke. How can she say that she didn't see this coming? The Townsville Bulletin unveiled amid the 0-10 losing streak that the club had been running at a loss of around half a million a season for some time and that the board members had to kick in an extra half mil to close out season 2011/12. After much prodding Colbran even admitted it publically.
These aren't the symptoms of a club with a bright long term future.
The club should have put their hand up mid season though. If they came out and said, "look, we will finish this season ok, but if we are to continue next year we are going to need to adopt the community model. Expressions of interest start today. Who's in?"
Now it's way too late. But they were probably to embarassed or stubborn to admit it at that time, especially in the midst of one of the worst Crocs regular seasons on record.
Re-signing Mitch Norton, however, was such an unclassy move...
Classy or not Im sure that the signing was done with the best of intentions, I fail to see how a group of people who have supported basketball to the tune of 2.5 million over the last 5 years would openly and deliberately sign a young player to a long term deal knowing they were about to shut the whole thing down.
I suspect that as happened last year on the GC the real money man behind the operation, ie the person(s) who were actually responsible for tipping in the required funds to run the show either ran out of $ or simply wanted to put their money elsewhere.
Lets assume there are 5 owners, 4 have been tipping n 50k a season and 1 has been putting in 500k (all by way of loan accounts in the parent company) its been like that for a while and although far from ideal its simply the way things are. The money has always been there when needed with a hope that the business will turn around as the "new NBL" grows. 2 of these owners (the 50k a year ones) actively run the club, sign players/coaches and make the business decisions going forward, while the other 3 guys keep the running of the club at arms length and sit on the board. The 2 running the club could well have signed Norton in good faith as while they realised the club was losing money, a top up has been there in the past and they assumed it would be there again 2 get things over the line next season. Probably a fair assumption on their behalf as they were happy to put another 50k up. Massive problem though when Mr 500k a year decides enough is enough, he calls a meeting announcing he cant contunie putting his $ in and bang the club has a 500k(or more) funding hole and is technically insolvent. We then end up with the annoncement we got yesterday.
The part that is making me laugh though is that BA are now trying to force the company to continue, citing they havnt given enough notice of withdrawl from the NBL. If the companies line of credit has dried up how can they continue? Trading while insolvent is illegal and carries a whole heap of ramifications for the directors from ASIC.
If owners chip in money to subsidise the club, thats their business. If those same owners simply want to walk because they have decided not to subsidise that club, and they haven't read the terms of their ownership obligations then that simply too bad.
There has by all accounts never been any indication that the Crocs were in trouble, only that they have been losing money. Perth have been subsidises by a very wealty man for years because they kept losing money. The ownership obligations seem to say you have to be insolvent. They have always said they will walk if they bleed money. They simply thought that they could walk without doing due diligence on how to correctly go about it.
They have plans for the community model. Well they should have implememneted them a long time ago instead of reaping all the profits they ahve made for the last 15 years or so. You can't have it both ways George.
I totally understand BA's stance. I assume the notification rules of struggle are there so A. the NBL may be able to help and B.a team doesn't just instantly disappear risking the viability of the league and all clubs. The Crocs by acting as they have, have now jeopardised the viability of the competition and not only the livelihoods of their own players but every player in the league. It was public knowledge that they were losing money 12 months ago. They should have notified then that were pulling up stumps to give the NBL a chance to organise or maybe fast track another bid so the competition could remain at 8 teams. This selfish act smacks of 'well if we can't play then nobody will'.
This for the local newspaper.
While the National Basketball League club, after much poking, revealed midway through last season that they had been enduring financial hardships over the past few seasons, at no stage was there a revelation that they were in dire need of help.
There was no appeal for public assistance or call for new investors to get on board ... just an email three days after it was promised at an admittedly sombre end-of-season dinner that the club would have a bright future.
Although hindsight being the wonderful thing that it is, chairman George Colbran saying, "let's hope we can keep this thing going" during an, at-times, strange speech at the awards night was perhaps his hint.
But hinting was never going to save the club that put Townsville on the Australian sporting map.
The board members should have bitten the bullet, taken their egos out of the equation and been screaming it from the rooftops a long time ago.
"At last year's AGM the Board gave a commitment to the shareholders that the company could not sustain another year of significant losses and warned at that time of this potential decision."
How about you warn the NBL George and not just the shareholders???
Your failure as business people at running a sporting organisation, as embarassing as it may be, is no excuse for leaving this to the last minute. NOTIFICATION....thats why it's part of the licence terms!!!!
How do you force a shareholder of a company to continue to 'loan' money to said company?
Simple solution, cry poor put club into administration. League puts in a claim for not recieving any notice of withdrawl (which most probably would make them an unsecured creditor) Club owners then put their claim in for funds loaned to club over previous 5 years (which they would have ensured was a secured loan)
Any assets are sold off and secured creditors paid off first and unsecured creditors get whats left - ie nothing
"There is a place for a Townsville-based team in the NBL competition, however the sustainability of the league must also be in question as Townsville is one of a number of NBL clubs fighting financial crises under very similar circumstances," Mr Colbran said.
How about you worry about your own little patch first. Hardly in any position to be making statements about other clubs or the league.
People forget the Kristina pretyt much left NSW broke after she was premier..she thinks you can spend your way out of trouble but as we have seen all around the globe recently that a fine balacne is required to ensure everyone can survive.
BA can't force Townsville to hold the license as mentioned above they will just liqudate and be done with it then it
If those same owners simply want to walk because they have decided not to subsidise that club, and they haven't read the terms of their ownership obligations then that simply too bad.I think that's a bad way to approach it. Do you really want them to play on (with a guarantee of only $250k if Boti's info is good) and then bail mid-season when they are completely screwed? That would be worse by a long stretch.
But no doubt they have messed up on the timing completely. BRB could've instead taken it to the league and worked on a strategy for easing them out and avoiding the damage done to the whole competition.
"7 team league is entirely untenable. And it's way too short a turn around to include another team in next year's comp from scratch. It's Crocs or nothing."
Not necessarily the case. The FFA brought in the West Sydney Wanderers in essentially 1 offseason (because they had to), and look how well that turned out for them. The club is being valued at around $20m.
Have been saying for a while i think the NBL needs to drop the cap to about 500k, hoepfully that helps keep the Crocs alive and make it more affordable and be more accomodating to getting teams in Wellington, Melbourne 2 and Brisbane up and going. Based on it seems clubs are losing 200-400k per year.
This would give us 11 teams spending 500k each, total 5.5 mil, it is a drop on the current total spend of 8 teams at approx a mil each some a bit less so probably around 7.5-8 mil, but still its decent. The extra teams would reduce the depth of rosters as many 6th and 7th men on teams could go and start for the new teams and that way not many if any top 7-8 players per team would really take a pay cut. Well would be on decent full time wages anyway. I would then reduce the minimum salary to around 10-15k as a part time position, as most 9th to 10th men dont get significant courtime anyway so wouldnt have a negative impact on rosters/the product, eg would the 36ers been any worse off if Daly and Warbout were in the 10 as part timers as opposed to say SC and Pero? I dont think so.
Then if after a few years every club is making a profit then rise the cap, but only to what the poorest can afford. If 500k still is too much then drop the cap again, team/owner welfare is the most important thing to keep the NBL alive, there will always be players willing to play.
Id run a 33 game season in the same time frame, ie each of the 11 teams plays 3 times, also more games means more revenue, whilst spending similar/less on the players.
Also drop the ticket prices by around $5-10, for the slight decline in talent.
I dont think it will be a huge decline, sure we would unlikely see guys like Ced Jackson which is a shame, but still plenty of imports you can get for 80-100k or less who are decent enough and can be entertaining ie Hurdle, Henry. Out of the Aussies currently in the NBL not sure we would lose too many, i reckon most of the ones who can make big bucks elsewhere already are, so we wouldnt lose many overseas imo, not sure if a guy like Gibson could go to Europe on big bucks, especially if he had to play as an import, i could be wrong but i reckon most of them including Gibson would end up in the NBL. Even if each club lost there best Aussie and best import and replaced them with a cheaper import and next best Aussie they could find it wouldnt be a tragedy imo. The games would still be basically as entertaining, you always find a few bargain imports and diamond in the rough aussies too which is also exciting.
Atleast we would have a viable NBL and not have teams dying all the time, which is the most important thing imo.
I also think Boty is spot on with BA not the best at running the league, why couldnt the owners set up a commission, 1 rep from each club, they appoint a chairman amongst themselves, each decision goes to a vote say it has to be a 80-100% agreeance for the decision to proceed and go that way, let the clubs run the league and ensure its viable, and live and die based on there own decisions.
Total restructure may be the answer, re badge it, re-promote it and re-evaluate the whole thing, like they did when soccer was changed to the A-League...
It will take some courage and huge kahonas by BA and the NBL, but as I see it the writing is well and truly on the wall.
If we need to join SEABL and change the NBL to a tiered comp, with conferences, reduce costs and reinvigorate the sport in this country, then by heck let's start doing the numbers and putting our thinking caps on???
I think we may be flogging a dead horse folks, sorry to say!!
I don't think they need to completely blow it up. If three of the teams have made money this season, there's scope for all to do the same. Revamping would be far riskier than improving and making incremental changes. But no more fucking around - start making the right changes immediately. The NBL can't have the majority of its biggest fans and players as critics and right now we're given ample opportunity to find fault.
Certainly, do not increase the cap. I think the cap could even be reduced slightly without losing many key players. Alternatives might be shaving costs with things like reducing the minimum salary (which I think is too high).
What might be a better path is to give less-powerful clubs a reasonable chance to compete without spending as much money. There'd have to be ways to achieve this. Every team bar Adelaide has seen recent post-season action and all fans need to feel like they have the chance of supporting a finals team either this season or next.
One potential change we've seen before would be permitting three imports with the proviso that one be pulled up from the SEABL (McFarlin, Ferguson, Massingale, etc). We're seeing a lot of bargain imports come through that have the potential to have a greater impact than another $40-60k player.
Another is a points cap concession that gave lower-ranked teams a bit more of a chance to assemble a stronger roster or squeeze in better free agents.
Is there anything else that might help?
I didn't know this ruleb4
Hey Isaac, this has been said before but apparently I am told that the NBL rules already allow 3 imports per team.
It's just that clubs can't afford it?
The BA rule states something like 2 imports with an exception according to NBL rules which allow 3 imports each
There used to be a rule permitting this (back in the days of the Cannons) but I don't believe it currently exists.
Imports can be brought in cheap and so costs wouldn't necessarily be an issue. We haven't seen a three import team in many years.
(Unless you count each Marty Clarke year. Har har.)
A "SEABL" import is a great idea, as long as they suit up for the previous season, regardless of restricted status or not they can play as an unrestricted player in the following NBL season.
It would help share costs between the leagues and provide a better pathway.
How the hell do you lose $1 million in a season???
This completely baffles me, Are you spending more than you allowed for? (surely you know before the season starts roughly what your costs will be).
Assuming (preying) you'd get income in that never eventuated???
I don't understand.
Isaac, surely at the beginning of a season you know roughly what your costs are going to be, including player salaries, staff costs venues travel etc, and you know roughly what your guaranteed income is going to be, if one doesn't at least cover the other before the season starts SURELY alarm bells need to be ringing.
If this is the way NBL Teams are managing their finances its no wonder they're going bust all over the place.
The thing I like about the SEABL semi-professional model is that it might result in a greater connection between juniors and the pro-ranks.
The divide between the NBL and SEABL/ABL is too great.
Kids are being lost to football not just because of the big dollars on offer but by the greater pathway on offer due to a larger number of spots on lists at AFL level than in the NBL.
The whole semi-pro thing is not necessarily a bad thing.
A player earns $20k for a 6 month season forcing him to either study or have another job which in the long run may be better than earning $40k or $50k from basketball for say 5 years and having no back up when cut from the team.
If young juniors saw the SEABL/ABL players in the newspaper and getting the respect of being 'first tier' players as opposed to 'second tier' then this might have the result of greater retention of juniors to the sport.
Times have changed. We no longer have the Gaze's, Bradtke's, Heal's in the NBL. They are all in the USA or Europe. Accept the fact that as a result it already is a second tier competition where only Boomer's bench fodder like Gibson and Crawford are in the NBL and pay the players accordingly.
If a Gibson or Cadee sold out the Adelaide Arena then I am all for the $100k + contracts. However, they don't and nor do any players in the NBL at present so lets get the league to say a 18 team (2 conference) fresh new competition which is semi-pro. IE the SEABL much as it is but with Adelaide, Cairns, Perth, Sydney and Wollongong added to it. The competition becomes truly national (ie the SEABL has a Brisbane team, Canberra team and Tasmanian teams). Top 2 or 4 teams could look to be involved in a South East Asian Championship or something.
What is the worst that could happen?
Of course some of the NBL players will look to play overseas but import gigs for Australian players are hard to come by so I don't see any mass exodus.
In any event, if the new SEABL competition lost say Gibson, DJ and the like then I still think the benefits outweigh the negatives.
They must have an 8th team to meet there contractual agreements with Channel 10.Bendigo showed with a bit of imagination they could reconfig there stadium to fir more in.I think Geelong would love to but the stadium is an issue. Whichever team it would be BA would have to throw some cash at them to get them up and moving.
I love the idea of having the 3rd import from the SEABL, would give teams the ability to get a potential starter at a low(ish) wage. Would love to see CJ given another go, and a decent go, i reckon he could have been a decent 5th starter to 6th man, and be a real x factor at times.
Could they simply make the rule, if you have played more than 20 SEABL/NZ NBL/ABL/State league games you can play NBL as an unrestricted (non-import) player? And allow teams to have as many of these guys as they want.
Many good players such as Massingale, Pace, Ferguson,etc would qualify and could make a decent NBL career in this case and be fairly cost effective.
Could be a cheap way to keep the quality decent, and maybe drop the cap a bit, even if it means losing some of our top players.
What rubbish that allows all the top teams to do that as well. Lower the cap. maybe increse the point and go back to the way it was before the clubs and the players got greedy. Thats why we have this situation we have now. The Crocs were greedy and ripped off all their profits when the good days were there and never investes in the future. Someone will know that had 50plus home sellouts or more. Profit, profit, profit. All taken with no thought for the short, to medium fute and now they want to take their bat and ball and go home.
How many times do we need to talk about the doom and gloom, wathing a team go down and players, coaches, support staff, fans all become broken hearted?
All I am saying here is that the current model doesn't seem to be working, but minor changes are not going to work either, they have been done and dusted...
Time for a REAL change!!
This mess shows the massive disconnect from BA down to grassroots. There has been plenty of talk about an 11 team comp for months....what a joke!!
If SEABL is swallowed up by BA it will be bled dry into the rabble the NBL has become.
If BA could only afford some decent administrators to bring things together there might be a chance a national basketball comp will be relevant in 10 years.
Washed up political figurines and ex-players can't run the game.
And no self respecting business person is going to pump money into a black hole.
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An Australian basketball forum covering NBL, WNBL, ABL, Juniors plus NBA, WNBA, NZ, Europe, etc | Forum time is: 5:12 am, Mon 6 Jul 2020 | Posts: 838,005 | Last 7 days: 748