Years ago

The $7million solution the NBL rejected

Check out Boti's latest post

What do people think??

Anyone know the reasons behind rejecting it??

Looks like a good proposal and way forward to me, i reckon the NBL would be in a better place right now if they had accepted it.

Topic #36689 | Report this topic

Years ago

I mentioned it in another thread,

One question i have is, couldnt he have bought say Wollongong, Townsville, Cairns, Adelaide and funded Brisbanes expansion and possibly Melbourne 2.0 for $5-7mil which would have effectively given him ownership of 50%+ of the league??

I wonder why he didnt go down that path and take control of the league and put his plan into place,

Maybe he couldnt be bothered fighting the resistance after it was rejected.

Hell he could probably start his own league and compete with the NBL for $5-7 mil if he wanted to.

Would also be interested to why this didnt happen either??

I reckon a investor/controller model is a good way forward, gives it a firm direction and he seemed to have a plan which is more than the NBL seems to have now.

Reply #520673 | Report this post

Years ago

I offered them half a bag of chips and a ham sandwich to let me take over the league, really can't understand why they didn't accept???

Complete and utter mismanagement of MU is hardly a ringing endorsement of Kestleman & Co.

Besides which, his proposal is a pile of crap.

He makes a lot of promises, none of which are magically achievable just because he owns half the league. Injecting $5M in capital into the NBL doesn't magically make Townsville and Wollongong profitable, nor generate a massive TV payout.

Centralised services? Apart from being based on false assumptions, I can't see Perth & NZ handing their marketing over to the clowns that run MU. And again, where does this magical money come from?
Is he proposing to run the NBL at a massive loss until it burns through the $5M he's invested?
With all his promises that would take about 6 MONTHS!

He's going to start two new teams, prop up the existing ones, fund a massive advertising campaign, forgo TV revenue and provide free services... ALL for only $5M????
He would need TEN times that much just to keep his promises for 5 years.

Yeah, he should stick to selling overpriced shite internet to easily conned dupes.

And the fundamental problem with it is that the NBL itself isn't the problem. We don't need somebody to buy out the NBL!
We need somebody to buy out the Hawks & Townsville. We need somebody to bankroll the new teams.

It's weird, a member of the Bendat family wants to bankroll the Brisbane bid, and everybody screams "conflict of interest" yet selling the whole league to this bozo is supposed to be a great idea?

Reply #520682 | Report this post

Years ago

Read it again Dazz, you're rant just makes you look dopey!

Reply #520683 | Report this post

Years ago

What is a class B shareholder?

Reply #520684 | Report this post

Years ago

Why doesnt he start a new national comp?

Im sure if he could finance Wollongong, Townsville, and Melbourne and then also finance a 2nd NZ and Brisbane expansions into a new league, most of the NBL would follow him. Bar possibly NZ and Perth?

If everyone else goes, what choice do they have?

Reply #520686 | Report this post

Years ago

I think you're all missing the point, why wouldn't you accept free money, he either delivered or control reverted back ... at a worst case you got a bunch of free advertising and avoid the bad press of the Hawks and Crocs going into VA.

passing on that .... heads should roll.

Reply #520692 | Report this post

Years ago


If that is legit the league head honcho's are in need of a good kicking.

Reply #520694 | Report this post

Years ago

Who says melbourne has been mismanaged from an operational point of view? Just because they struggled on court doesnt mean its a reflection offcourt

Reply #520695 | Report this post

Years ago

I understand if the NBL clubs didn't accept the proposal but why not join forces with Bendat, Blackwell, Spenceley, the SOS and the Kings consortium and run this idea together. As new teams come in so do new owners which raises the amount that can be spent. Adding a Wellington team (Nick Mills) and a South Melbourne (Mark Cowan) would be great for the league as both owners are passionate fans and great businessmen.

In the meantime the owners who can will prop up a Brisbane team and give it some serious legs then sell it to the highest bidder once everything basketball related is sorted, then divide the money between those who paid for it. The same can be done for Gold Coast and Tassie.

As the league is growing the league needs to pitch itself to Australia's biggest companies such as Telstra, Woolworths or any of the big banks for a naming rights sponsor. Get companies to sponsor all-star weekends, pre-season tournaments. A TV deal should be a combination of FTA and PayTV, but the NBL should be the producer of the content.

Once sponsorships and TV is sorted marketing campaigns should be before the season and during. The NBL needs to be in charge of these to prevent teams putting together crap commercials such as Adelaides current one. Advertise Advertise Advertise our great game. Make commercials highlighting NBA guys like J-Chill and Gladness, college stars such as Wilbekin aswell as current Boomers playing in the league.

As much as it pains me to say it I think the league is better off without Townsville and I also believe the NBL is in a great position to move forward and take great steps to be coming a great league again.

Reply #520698 | Report this post

Years ago

First off I read this proposal as $14 million NOT $7 million. It's an initial $7 million injection and then around $7 million post initial investment funding.

I like more centralised control. Look at the NBA, common branding, centralised strategy etc. etc.

Why this wasn't accepted when he committed to making the league profitable within 3 yrs or handing back 25% of his shareholding? The guy is putting his money where his mouth is!

The key is: Investment now will increase success in TV negotiations

With a $1.5 million national marketing campaign funded by the league, ontop of TV marketing, with the league finally in the key market of Brisbane, TV would have been more likely to signup for a decent price.

The league needs wealthy investors to put their money in and in doing so secure their knowledge, innovation and expertise.


Reply #520707 | Report this post

Years ago

would love to see the full document and not just the executive summary that Boti posted.

Reply #520708 | Report this post

Years ago

It's a shame that we can't get a major sponsor that can give us exactly what's written in that document especially setting up TOA amd referee and scorers bench etc help.

Why does Kestleman need 51% of the league to make such changes?

Is his monies spent on advertising at Mvourne Ubited this season what MU fans want to see across the league?

Definitely love to have another Uncle Toby's All-star game weekend

Reply #520713 | Report this post

Years ago

Agree with you KET. That's exactly what I thought when I read Dazz's post

Reply #520714 | Report this post

Years ago

I would have thought the "51%" part would have been the stumbling block. The other business people on the board would have had a philosophical problem with a controlling shareholder. Now 49% might have received a different response.

Reply #520715 | Report this post

Years ago

Really Dazz? Although I am a traditionalist when it comes to the Tigers, MU got great attendance and will be profitable next season (if there is one). The current mismanagement is simply a joke and for you to sit there and say 'clowns' when someone is having a red hot crack at trying to fix the league, you need to go and kick rocks somewhere.

Reply #520720 | Report this post

Years ago

Hypothetically, let's say this proposal is accepted. Let's say it works. Let's say that in three years, the league IS profitable, and therefore Kestelman doesn't have to give back 25% of his share. You are then stuck with a league where a singular team owner also owns 51% of the league. If Nick Marvin being chairman of the NBL board was a conflict of interest, how is this not? Do you think the 51% shareholder who owns DoDo is going to allow a company like Telstra, Optus, iinet to sponsor the league?

Reply #520721 | Report this post

Years ago

He doesn't own Dodo anymore so the conflict with sponsors isn't an issue

"Dodo chief Larry Kestelman tells SmartCompany: Why I just sold my company for $203 million"

You guys are so funny, the NBL is falling apart, has no money, no expansion, no TV deal, no sponsor, 2 teams out and maybe 1 more to follow and you are all kicking rocks at someone smart and successful wanting to come in and invest $7m into the league.

You could not give the league away, if you haven't read the press and see the bozos running it, it's dead

you should all come up for a gasp of reality

Reply #520723 | Report this post

Years ago

1. Underwritten expansion where necessary
(Guaranteed 2 new teams)
2. Significant Investment in marketing & promotion of the league in all major markets
3. Centralised Services to reduce clubs costs
4. Establish professional Referees development fund
5. Increase financial stability of smaller clubs
6. Guarantee a share of TV rights directly to clubs
7. Build grass roots support of basketball and league

Okay, so all this and a partial money back guarantee if it fails. Interestingly, the current NBL's refusal to accept this deal has resulted in nothing too good coming from a plough onwards without a real strategic plan concept. Which is kind of what was presented by all accounts.

I too would like to see the detail, but if all we have is the executive summary, well reading the ideas presented I can only presume the current NBL board just didn't trust that these ideas could be achieved.

Like I have said many times, we need a 'white knight', a leader and the balls to trust that leader, maybe the league needs to crash before phoenix can rise, I don't know, but it is sad to read so much negativity about the NBL when there are obviously people out there who do care about the future of the league...

Reply #520724 | Report this post

Years ago

^ Agreed!

Reply #520725 | Report this post

Years ago

Cairns dont need help they turn a profit snd just made the GF ffs

Reply #520726 | Report this post

Years ago

So we just keep doing the same thing that is clearly failing. Big ideas and big changes required. Do not believe the league would be worse off if this offer had been accepted.

Reply #520727 | Report this post

Years ago

Dazz, that sounds a bit like ranting and raving to me. There are reasons other owners wouldn't have accepted it, but your response seems to be based on a misread of the proposal.

On United, he has got a branded product on the floor that was, this season, hamstrung by a coaching change and roster issues.

And again, where does this magical money come from?
He sold his company for $200m. He is investing $5m in startups through Oxygen Ventures. He seems like an active investor.

He's not throwing money at a problem without cause. He's talked about underwriting new teams, not funding them in their entirety (stated clearly in the proposal). And he talked about the centralised resources being available to clubs, not compulsory - also stated clearly in the proposal.

He talks about independent governance as well as representation of the club owners.

He talked about a significant sum put towards league marketing, and strategies to stabilise weaker clubs until there is revenue from a TV deal.

Like I said, obvious reasons why this wouldn't get past all clubs, but at least cover the points as they're written.

Reply #520728 | Report this post

Years ago

Dazz is just going into attack mode to 'protect Perth's patch' before anyone has raised any criticism of it.

I don't understand how the richer clubs do not see that they need financially viable opposition clubs to play against otherwise they lose or at least lessen the value of their own investment.

I accept that there is a time when you need to cut underperforming/uncommercial ventures as being unviable, but Dazz believes that they are viable but just have incompetent management. Well then, rich clubs, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT to help them become viable!

Reply #520738 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

Its not the rich clubs fault that some clubs don't have what it takes to perform properly. Is it Perth and NZ's fault that Adelaide drove away many long time supporters this year? You can only lead the horse to water for so long.

Reply #520740 | Report this post

Years ago

^^^^^ This guy? Really?

Reply #520746 | Report this post

Years ago

From the outside this looks like a well thought out and solid proposal, the devil however is always in the detail.

It just surprises me that if it was put to a vote how did it not get up? Sure Marvin/Perth hold a board position and have a vote but surely they don't have enough sway to kill such a proposal if everyone else was for it? Wonder what Dean and the 6ers position on this was?

I fail to see how a club such as the Sixers could be disadvantaged? They still own their own club and make a profit(or loss obviously) from its operations. They pick their own roster and set their own budgets, how does playing in a league 51% owned by someone else and controlled by an independent board effect them in a negative way? Sure you can say their could be a conflict of interest but a properly appointed board should alleviate those concerns?

Even Perth, how are they disadvantaged in this scenario? The are free to run their cub however they see fit, they have more varied opposition to play against and a more realistic possibility of an income stream being generated by the league itself. The only thing they lose in having Marvin sitting on the board which shouldn't be a huge issue when looking at the big picture

Wonder if this proposal would have gone if it was Bendat money being stumped up? No doubt the Perth fans would have loved the idea but the masses east of WA would have cried conspiracy. I guess that just proves how well Perth have gone building their fan base and us against the rest metality

Reply #520748 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

#746 what is your point?

Reply #520749 | Report this post

Years ago

Uwe Blab, tell me where I said the rich clubs are to blame for other club's financial woes. Where do you jump to the conclusion that it is someone else's fault? Comprehension 101?

What we are talking about is cost sharing, providing financial support models and equalisation so that all teams are the better.

Perth - purely for the sake of an example and because it is Perth fans that go into attack mode every time some suggestion of change is made - will not have anyone to play against if the league fails. 12,000 people will not pay to go see Perth play an intra-club scrimmage. Why do you not see this?

Reply #520755 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

Tell me where I said its about financial woes? How's your comprehension?

Its about doing all the small things correctly, the little things that everyone has a go at the league for not getting right (website, keep fans engaged etc) but when its a problem at a club level, its always glossed over, or the league and/or others continue to get the blame.

Reply #520761 | Report this post

Dunkin' Dan  
Years ago

Why do you claim Perth fans don't see this?
It's certainly obvious to me.
Even 8 teams is on the low side for my taste. 10 sounds better.

But somewhere there has to be a line between everyone for themselves, and propping up a franchise that is incapable of helping itself.
Sharing is an important part of having a cohesive and viable league, but there also needs to be incentive for individual clubs to perform well and profit from it. You can just give handouts indefinitely or as Nick points out, where's the motivation to get off your arse and perform?

Reply #520762 | Report this post

Years ago

It was a proposal at the eleventh hour that Steve Dunn, Nick Marvin and Richard Clarke all baulked at, because it would have meant they handed over complete control to Kestleman and Slepoy and none of the others (owners etc) were prepared to wear that, especially as they hadn't got the opportunity to do their due diligence on said proposal.

On the surface it looked a positive move, but as others have said, the devil was in the detail, and it was that detail that was lacking in what the United owners put forward.

Reply #520766 | Report this post

Years ago

Thanks anon^, if true that clears up a few thoughts as to what may have taken place at the time.

Somehow my mind turns to the board room scene in the movie 'Semi-Pro', but surely it was more civil than that...

Reply #520779 | Report this post

Years ago

propping up a franchise that is incapable of helping itself.
Who are you putting in that category? Everyone but Cairns? Wollongong? They have an excellent web guy, decent social media, good newsletter, etc. Their GM is ex-Perth Wildcats, so you'd think he has come from a professional operation with tricks up his sleeve. Owner's Picks demolished their season, but the coal situation is largely out of their control.

If the NBL won't let them play from an alternate venue and the WEC is expensive for them, those can be things that hamstring their efforts.

I think the league (the clubs running the show) would be smart to build a framework so that something like Wollongong Coal or Eddy Groves or whatever can't jeopardise the existence of a club. It's either profitable (Cairns) or close enough (who knows which clubs) that an entrepreneur can turn it around. Groves bails, but the Bullets are solid enough that someone else steps up.

Spenceley had a three year plan that hasn't really lasted a year.

In Adelaide, I've been quite clear that I think they dropped the ball during the off-season, especially coming off a grand final finish. The league would be more stable if it could cover for that. The "it's possible, you just have to work hard" attitude is lovely, but it hasn't really put the league in a better place than it was 10 years ago. It needs to be the icing rather than a structural part of the cake IMO.

Kestelman had decent ideas - optional centralised staff, broader marketing efforts and so on - that can be funded in a way that doesn't hand over ownership. But it could effectively tax more powerful clubs in a variety of ways - soft salary cap, soft points cap, soft cap on import restrictions, etc. Sell things that cost nothing.

A friend of mine has a very shrewd idea through which real estate developers could exceed planning restrictions through payment or provision of desirable extras (green features, community features, etc). They get an extra storey on a building, but the community gets an electric vehicle charging hub or a community hall or $50k into the council budget.

Salary cap of $800k, but a reasonably strong luxury tax after that. Points cap of x, but you can buy extra points on an increasingly expensive scale. Each team is allowed one import, but you can buy another for $30k on top of that salary, or a third for $60k. That sort of thing. If five teams take a second import, you've funded two full-time staff to oversee club staff handling ticketing and merchandise, or doing dedicated media work.

Reply #520788 | Report this post

Years ago

Has an NBL team ever had their own venue, or not had to lease a venue?

It would seem pretty handy for an NBL team to have a mid size venue 3-5K with some extra courts out back and a bar.

Have the basketball, netball, indoor soccer, etc played during the week and also be able to lease out the main stadium to the wiggles, comedians and other performers when they come to town.

If the club was set up as a non for profit with the profits initially going back to the builder then back to other projects which benefit the community.

Reply #520805 | Report this post

Years ago

Yes, the Adelaide Arena under a previous name was owned (effectively) by the 36ers. Purpose-built basketball venue. Ended up being problematic in a few ways.

Should a club buy a food and beverage company? Brew their own beer? I'd say that clubs should focus on their core business rather than expose themselves to more risk. Isolate each contractable component out and double-down on playing the game and marketing it to fans and sponsors.

Reply #520814 | Report this post

Years ago

Statman - "Sure Marvin/Perth hold a board position and have a vote but surely they don't have enough sway to kill such a proposal if everyone else was for it?"

Perth currently have one board position but it seems Kestleman's proposal was made back in September 2014. At that time Perth held two positions. Marvin was the chair and (Paul) Bendat a member. Not quite enough to carry the day on their own. The other 3 board members were Clarke (NZ), Dunn (Sydney) and Garrone (previously Cairns).

Reply #520815 | Report this post

Dunkin' Dan  
Years ago

Isaac, I'm not putting anyone in that category. I was speaking purely in general terms.
I wouldn't have the first clue of the real and complete situations of each team, though Marvin seemed to be pointing pretty directly at the Crocs being in that category in his radio interview.
Their venue situation was obviously a huge factor. What role the club could have played in things going a different way with that, I have no idea.

Whatever system is put in place needs to not take into account which particular team is in which category right now anyway. To me it makes total sense for a league to leverage a strong central structure for things like securing sponsorships, and helping with easily centralised tasks like website structure. You can't expect to get the best tv deal or the real blue chip type major sponsors if you're just a fragmented collection of individual teams. You need a professional and cohesive leadership. And to get that, you can't measure your salaries of those people in peanuts either.

I'm just saying that in addition to structure and safety nets, there also still needs to be some level of responsibility on the clubs to prosper individually. A club shouldn't be able to cut corners and get lazy and expect to be bailed out indefinitely if it bites them in the arse.

Individual clubs being successful has benefits that flow on to the rest of the league. When Perth gets a James Ennis, it's good for everyone. When people tune in to Cats games and there are 13k in the stands, that's good too. If Perth can afford LeBron + Durant next season, then the benefit to the other clubs gets overridden by disparity. So of course there needs to be a balance.

Ultimately, whatever structure is in place, it must ensure that the health of the league comes above the health of any individual, even if that does mean that it's necessary for a thriving club to get stifled a little bit. Surely everyone understands that there's no point in their club having amazing success and profit if there's no league left for them to compete in.

Reply #520819 | Report this post

Years ago

Thanks Peter John,

Certainly makes it more understandable as to how it didn't get up. Unfortunately that board makeup seems to represent the 'haves' more than the 'havenots' I guess.

Reply #520841 | Report this post

Years ago

I agree with that.

I do think a safety net that covers for human elements (a lazy staff member in a key position) as well as black swans (financial backer dying, etc) is critical though. Otherwise one club can take a hit through a bad hiring or strategical decision and make the news.

With independent governance and some centralised oversight, I'd like to think there'd be a league representative that can see which club's slow to get membership packs out or is making a mistake, and keep them on track. These clubs do some things every year and all processes should be polished by now, not to mention common (in some regards) to all of them. e.g., by date x, have all teams set seat pricing, by date y have all teams sent their first pitch to renewing members, etc.

If the Crocs and Hawks have written of league debts through VA, I wonder if Marvin's animosity has arisen because of that? It might be that the stronger clubs have put in the lion's share of those provisions to stumbling teams.

Reply #520844 | Report this post

King Podge  
Years ago

I'm starting to think Issac would be a solid choice for CEO.

Reply #520853 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

I think his animosity stems from the cheap shots the Crocs took at the league through the media. The resources they were given have essentially served no purpose, have cost the league the ability to market itself to a better standard, while everyone has been firing off shots at how incompetent the board is (Marvin being the centre of attention), so I think he had good reason to be pissed off when the Crocs then blamed the "lack of information" from the league to be the cause of their VA.

The Hawks didn't receive a spray, but they also didn't blame the league for their current woes.

Reply #520855 | Report this post

Years ago

Podge, I struggle to keep up with my own little business, and I've had 15 years of practice at it now. I just like telling people what I think they should do.

Another problem I think the NBL has is that with small groups within clubs, you are limited in terms of oversight and are therefore ultimately at the mercy of individuals rather than professional structures and processes. Larger sports organisations or retail companies with strong marketing teams (think Kraft, Nestle, etc) would not have that problem. A club like Perth with more staff (and likely a 'taller' rather than flatter employee structure) could be beyond that also.

Obviously most clubs can't justify excess staff, but the league could cover for it with a lot more oversight and transparency. These teams compete on court but not in administration. There should be little risk in terms of the parent body and other clubs being able to see what each club is doing with their marketing. The league could provide master process documentation that is forked where required, and renewed as improvements are discovered.

A lot of this could be done with privately shared/online checklists even. As I said elsewhere, have all clubs got the draft of their season ticket mailout signed off? Have all clubs updated their sites with ticket pricing, etc. They're all working towards the same season start, obviously.

Reply #520856 | Report this post

Years ago

Dog Marvin vetoing any progress for the league. $14mil? nope not interested. wow just wow. Now two teams collapse, you can't play against no one Nick did you forget about that small little fact? Not too bright. Asia? good luck they don't need you.

Reply #520897 | Report this post

Years ago

A money back guarantee
If the league hasn't increased revenue to >$10m p/a and profitable within 3 full seasons, the Investor will hand back control and reduces his shareholding from 51% to 26%"

Marvin says NO!

Reply #520898 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

Anons above, can you please show us the meeting minutes that prove that Marvin was the one against this deal? Or are you just going from memory? Because you were obviously there.....

Reply #520907 | Report this post

Years ago

I think you could fairly safely guess that Marvin would've voted against this plan. Shifts power from Perth, New Zealand and Sydney.

Reply #520921 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

I agree (but not necessarily for the exact same reason), but the anon above is claiming the entire "veto" is Marvin's doing. I guess he knows exactly what went on in those meetings.

Reply #520923 | Report this post

Years ago

So you're arguing just for the sake of arguing? I hope you don't start picking apart people's grammer ;) as well or you may have to change you're ;) name to Mattic as well!

Reply #520925 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

No, I was coming up with a more polite way of saying the anon above is full of shit.

Reply #520927 | Report this post

Years ago

If you were the clubs that controlled the board (perth, sydney, NZ) then you might assume they wanted and preferred their own control over a proposal to do something exciting and give that control up.

Perhaps Perth, Sydney and NZ decided it was better to control something slowly running into the ground than give up that control to create something that could be amazing.

Pretty standard human nature and the only logical conclusion.

Wouldn't Wollongong, Cairns, Townsville support it as they would get funding and are the most in need given they are regional, plus add in United (of course), so you have at least 4 in favour and you'd have to assume (as it didn't get up) 4 against with the Chairman (Perth) getting the casting vote.

Simply based on logic it is pretty fair to assume Marvin is the reason it didn't get up

Reply #520949 | Report this post

Uwe Blab  
Years ago

That is terrible logic.

Reply #520955 | Report this post

Years ago

Spenceley was introduced to the Hawks/NBL via Kestelman so you'd think he'd favour the proposal at least.

I think you'd be better off arguing that Marvin/Perth were a reason it didn't get up rather than the deciding reason. You could speculate that Perth wields more influence than their vote alone ("Do this or we're going to Asia and taking our record crowds away from you."), but that's influence rather than an official veto.

Reply #520957 | Report this post

Years ago

Breakers CEO Richard Clark has said that everyone needs to take Gaze's comments regarding the NBL & his suggestion to shut it down until it's fixed with a grain of salt being as he is on the BA board that gets control of the league handed back to them if that happens under the fine print of the de-merger.

Apparently Nick Mills (Team Owner) of the Saints is coming over to discuss their inclusion but all the rumours I'm hearing are that another NZ team won't be ready to go until the following season.

Reply #520962 | Report this post

Years ago

His response is hardly surprising though...

Everyone seems to have an agenda here, some are perhaps better concealed than others.

Reply #520966 | Report this post

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