Aussie
Last month

Hawks owner on shaky ground after NBL ultimatum

This story is in the Illawarra Mercury but is behind a paywall.

Can someone please post the article?

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Anonymous  
Last month

"
THE Illawarra Hawks NBL license could soon be up for grabs with current owner Simon Stratford reportedly hit with a show cause notice by the NBL earlier this month.

Both parties remain tight-lipped on the development, with the NBL issuing a blunt "no comment" when asked on Wednesday morning to confirm or deny such a notice had been issued.

Stratford did not return calls on Wednesday, but The Mercury understands the matter relates to a significant debt owed to the NBL. Should the league not receive an adequate response it could take back ownership of the club's license and offer it for sale to interested buyers.

There has been genuine, if tentative, interest in purchasing the club from multiple parties - with a group ownership model the likely pitch - but the debt remains the major sticking point.

Should the NBL call in the debt and assume ownership, it would clear the way for a new owner or ownership group to take control of the club ahead of next season.

Stratford's ownership has been on shaky ground since the end of last season when it emerged players and staff had not been paid their full entitlements - chiefly superannuation.

It attracted the attention of the NBL, ATO and the Players Association before eventually being resolved but it was one of a number of issues that saw former coach Rob Beveridge depart the club.

Stratford formerly held a minority share of the club but took full ownership in February 2018 after telecommunications entrepreneur James Spencely sold his 51 per cent stake.

Spencely purchased his majority stake in July 2014 after five years operating under a members ownership structure. The club was placed into voluntary administration at the end of the 2014-15 season, but returned the finals next campaign in Beveridge's first at the helm.

The ownership uncertainty comes amid a tough season on the floor for the Hawks, with rookie coach Matt Flinn dealt a tough draw and horror injury toll that sees them sitting at 5-18 with five games remaining.

They take on the Kings in Wollongong on Friday, with their Indigenous Round clash with New Zealand their final home outing of the year.
"

Reply #788223 | Report this post


Rook  
Last month

Didn't seem to be a paywall for me... but here it is:

THE Illawarra Hawks NBL license could soon be up for grabs with current owner Simon Stratford reportedly hit with a show cause notice by the NBL earlier this month.


Both parties remain tight-lipped on the development, with the NBL issuing a blunt "no comment" when asked on Wednesday morning to confirm or deny such a notice had been issued.

Stratford did not return calls on Wednesday, but The Mercury understands the matter relates to a significant debt owed to the NBL. Should the league not receive an adequate response it could take back ownership of the club's license and offer it for sale to interested buyers.

There has been genuine, if tentative, interest in purchasing the club from multiple parties - with a group ownership model the likely pitch - but the debt remains the major sticking point.

Should the NBL call in the debt and assume ownership, it would clear the way for a new owner or ownership group to take control of the club ahead of next season.

Stratford's ownership has been on shaky ground since the end of last season when it emerged players and staff had not been paid their full entitlements - chiefly superannuation.

It attracted the attention of the NBL, ATO and the Players Association before eventually being resolved but it was one of a number of issues that saw former coach Rob Beveridge depart the club.

Stratford formerly held a minority share of the club but took full ownership in February 2018 after telecommunications entrepreneur James Spencely sold his 51 per cent stake.

Spencely purchased his majority stake in July 2014 after five years operating under a members ownership structure. The club was placed into voluntary administration at the end of the 2014-15 season, but returned the finals next campaign in Beveridge's first at the helm.

The ownership uncertainty comes amid a tough season on the floor for the Hawks, with rookie coach Matt Flinn dealt a tough draw and horror injury toll that sees them sitting at 5-18 with five games remaining.

They take on the Kings in Wollongong on Friday, with their Indigenous Round clash with New Zealand their final home outing of the year.

Reply #788225 | Report this post


Aussie  
Last month

*Thanks guys

Reply #788227 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Stratford sounds like a mug

Reply #788230 | Report this post


Reality  
Last month

Sounds like its all over for the hawks.

Hopefully they move the licence to Sydney so they can get a second team.

Reply #788231 | Report this post


KET  
Last month

It would be interesting what that debt is, whether it was genuine funding needed or a bit of a loan shark move "we expect x from you, here's x that you can pay back later".

It seems like a bit of a politically savvy move - whether it be for crude purposes of trying to get rid of a struggling franchise, or whether it be holding the ownership to account for their management particularly in respect to the entitlements/super issue.

It would be interesting whether the NBL is looking to move the licence somewhere else or is gauging for interested buyers who will maintain the base in Illawarra/Wollongong.

A stronger ownership group with more capital, remaining in Illawarra could be a good outcome for Hawks fans and avoids the NBL being saddled with the reputation of the certainties in life "death, taxes, NBL clubs folding"

Reply #788235 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Here we go again

Reply #788237 | Report this post


Cram  
Last month

Tell me again about the financial windfall the Hawks got out of having LaMelo Ball playing for them...

Reply #788238 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Instead of pissing all the sporting money on there mates seats, the federal government could have built a decent stadium for the hawks so that WIN stadium stops screwing them over. I'm certain the netball, indoor soccer, and the hawks could have got good use out of it. A boutique little 4000 seater like a lot of the regional basketball clubs have in Europe and survive well.

Reply #788242 | Report this post


AngusH  
Last month

Doesn't bode well for the future of basketball in the Gong.

Reply #788243 | Report this post


Fold.

Reply #788247 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

LK said after Crocs folded no other team well, I would suggest to the owner of the hawks to sell it now to a ex nba player and make as much money as you can now

Reply #788249 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

In for BigBallerHawks

Reply #788250 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

(Tell me again about the financial windfall the Hawks got out of having LaMelo Ball playing for them...)

This ships been sinking for 40 years, Lamelo is good for the small club and has brought a massive spot light to the NBL That will be seen for as long as he plays in the nba (and if he's a good player long after). The hawks have made money from this but the problem started way before melo ever new about the hawks.
Illawarra is just to small of an area to have an NBL team, an nbl1 team would do well in Illawarra. Maybe if they branched out and rebranded to say south nsw hawks or south west Sydney hawks they could get the fan support they need.
I’d like to see new owners: Patty Mills im looking at you.

Reply #788251 | Report this post


AngusH  
Last month

Problem with selling to a new owner is that the Gong as a location is a tougher sell than Melbourne or even Brisbane. That's another tough aspect of being a regional team.

Reply #788255 | Report this post


Reality  
Last month

Hawks go lots of social media views/clicks for having Ball but in the end you need to have a team that competitive and can win.

The roster is very poor....far to many young guys (because they are cheap!) together with out of shape Boone (Cheap!) and a few vets who are cheap as well.

Social Media clicks/views don't equate to and tangible cash/benefit and the hawks are paying the price for putting out a substandard product onto the floor

Reply #788256 | Report this post


Jack Toft  
Last month

The Hawks are a foundation club and it would sad to see them fold completely.

Relocated clubs don't seem to last that long as the support is split between the original club and the new one so people feel in no man's land.

I have oftened wondered of the benefits of a club like the Hawks of having some form of "friendly non-supporter's club" for those people who have a soft spot for the club, or just want to support them a little bit. Instead of having a membership that has tickets (usually $500 odd per season), maybe have a small fee for interstate supporters of the NBL who would have the Hawks as their second team. Get on board with a sponsor or two and for a few goodies and maybe a tee-shirt or coffee mug.

I'm sure there's a few smart cookies in sports marketing that could come up with a few ideas to bring in revenue

Reply #788258 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"The hawks have made money from this"

No they haven't.

Reply #788259 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Been folding for years. With the NBL debt hanging over the possible new owners head, it's not going to go well.

Reply #788261 | Report this post


Curtley  
Last month

Move to sydney? Where would they play?

Reply #788265 | Report this post


MACDUB  
Last month

The NBL got more out of Lamelo than the Hawks - let's be honest (cost vs. benefit).

Reply #788267 | Report this post


Baller#3  
Last month

Move them to Canberra. Play some token games in Wollongong still. Perhaps 4 in wollongong and 10 in Canberra.

Could even split the home games 50/50 between wollongong and Canberra and call them the Southern Hawks or something.

Reply #788271 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

exactly right. so many people have said its win-win...it might have been a win for the league and for Melo, but the Hawks were not the priority in this situation.

Reply #788272 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Yes, it's a shame that the NBL didn't help the Hawks ensuring that with LaMelo there they maximised their ability financially.

Clearly this will be the last chance for the Hawks.

Reply #788273 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Not sure you can call a team "Southern" when there are two whole states further south.

Reply #788274 | Report this post


Cram  
Last month

"The NBL got more out of Lamelo than the Hawks - let's be honest (cost vs. benefit)."

100% this. Putting a team on the floor that was not competitive is not the way to keep local fans happy.

But it got clicks so....yeahhh

Reply #788275 | Report this post


Yolo  
Last month

NBL get the next stars money , not the club

Reply #788279 | Report this post


UseTaHoop  
Last month

Superannuation not paid?

What about the imports? How does that work exactly. Do they have some highly portable fund? I'm genuinely interested if anyone genuinely knows.

Reply #788284 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Canberra don't even have an nbl1 team, don’t no why they are even mentioned. Cairns were in same position one year ago, get new owners who aren’t pretend rich and get a decent deal with Wollongong Entertainment Centre and they should be fine.
How are the st George Illawarra dragons going financially, they wound be a start for a part ownership.

Reply #788288 | Report this post


Yolo  
Last month

imports are paid superannuation, they then get to take it with them when the leave out of their Australian fund

Reply #788292 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"Canberra don't even have an nbl1 team, don't no why they are even mentioned."

Totally Canberra's fault that Basketball Australia decided to kill SEABL and that Basketball Victoria decided that they're not letting any teams outside of Victoria and Tasmania into the (then) Victorian Senior Elite League (except Albury-Wodonga which is borderline Victoria anyway), so the Canberra Gunners went to the Waratah League.

Reply #788295 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"Not sure you can call a team "Southern" when there are two whole states further south."

Tell the Western Bulldogs that

Reply #788296 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Canberra hawks.

Reply #788298 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Didn't Canberra pull out of their 2nd Hawks game this season due to funding?

Reply #788303 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

It's time for a second WA team

Reply #788312 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Why are people blaming LaMelo for this.

The owner was already under the hot seat for not paying superannuation before this season.

And if you use your import spots on a washed up Josh Boone, Darrington Hobson you aren't getting many wins. Not to mention waiting ages to replace Brooks.

The coaching staff is just an Illawarra old boys club - Flinn, cooks and demos. It's a poorly run club

Reply #788317 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"It's time for a second WA team"

Not a chance.

Reply #788318 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"Why are people blaming LaMelo for this.

No one blamed LaMelo.

Reply #788319 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Last month

Keep the Hawks on life support for another 20 years until LaMelo retires from the NBA in the hope he buys the club for nostalgic reasons. I don't see any other big ballers wanting to buy into such a tiny market.

Reply #788322 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"Totally Canberra's fault that Basketball Australia decided to kill SEABL and that Basketball Victoria decided that they're not letting any teams outside of Victoria and Tasmania into the (then) Victorian Senior Elite League (except Albury-Wodonga which is borderline Victoria anyway), so the Canberra Gunners went to the Waratah League."

Totally Canberra's fault that they weny 0-20 in their last seabl season. They are lucky to be in the Waratah!

Reply #788324 | Report this post


LoveBroker  
Last month

I don't want the Hawks to fold but if they are ever going deeper into the Red, even with League Hand Outs, then there may be no choice.

I used to respect the Hawks, in the last 10 years they have had multiple playoff seasons including 2 GF seasons. This is a great achievement given their constraints.

But since then they have become a trash club headed by trash management who hire trash coaching staff overseeing trash players paid by trash ownership when there is petty cash in the tin. Even their supporters are trash, they are not showing up.

Matt Campbell stated their number 1 priority is to develop players (not winning) even then that would score a D grade. Naar and Grida have regressed, Blanchfield has not developed. Their import selections are just awful. Cedric Jackson and Jordair Jett? Josh Boone? I'll give them a pass on Brooks as he was good before going down. Then they refuse to sign more imports until nudged by the League, at which time they repaid the baskbetball community with Billy Preston and Darrington Hobson??? These guys would make Scott Christophersen look All NBL.

I don't want the Hawks to fold. They are good for opposition percentages.

Reply #788327 | Report this post


Keep the Hawks so they can develop young talent for the bigger clubs.

Reply #788337 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

I think you're taking Campbell’s comments about developing players out of context.

Reply #788341 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

The WIN Ent Centre have been killing the Hawks since the move in 1998. 35k per game is a large chunk when you're only getting 2,200-3000 people per game.

They should have built a stadium in Shellharbour. Until they leave WIN they'll never turn a profit.

Reply #788347 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"I don't want the Hawks to fold but if they are ever going deeper into the Red, even with League Hand Outs, then there may be no choice."
If there are NBL handouts then why don't they pay it off the debt?
NBL are doing FA to keep the Hawks alive it seems to me.
Give them handouts to recruit more imports so they can not meet their needs.

Reply #788385 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"No one blamed LaMelo."

Fair call but it did sound like some were blaming the Hawks using the next stars program rather than building a team. They could've done a lot better with some of their roster decisions, regardless of whether they had a next star

Reply #788386 | Report this post


Andrew  
Last month

You can hear it coming, Victorians calling for the dilution of the Perth Wildcats by bringing in a Fremantle team. The Fremantle Flops or Froppers for short.

Reply #788389 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Freo team is a good idea but trying to one up the cats flopper identity would be a impossible

Reply #788392 | Report this post


Cram  
Last month

"Fair call but it did sound like some were blaming the Hawks using the next stars program rather than building a team. They could've done a lot better with some of their roster decisions, regardless of whether they had a next star"

Playing a Next Star for 30+ minutes a game while young Aussie players - who's development could help the team in the future - wallow on the bench appears to have not been the way to interest Hawks fans. Who knew giving fans nothing to look forward to in the future would be so off putting?

Reply #788413 | Report this post


robt  
Last month

From all that's laid out on this forum it sounds like the Hawks are in real and immediate danger of folding.

Their use of Ball makes sense, under those circumstances.

Not saying that it solved their problems but long-term solutions don't seem to be have been an option.

What would you have done with the golden goose, in the same situation? And remember, you have the advantage of hindsight.

Reply #788459 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Matt Campbell loved him as a player but to have him as the C.E.O is so stupid it's rather comical.

He basically gave Bevo the ----- that's why he left then to give Flinn the job was even more stupid both he and Crooks should have been shown the door and some new blood brought in.

The recruiting was a shambles Boone, Hobson, and that Preston guy seriously all total rubbish and typical of the Hawks budget buy direct attitude.

Add that that AJ who is a shell of his form self and Blanchfield who has no clue how to defend.

If they are gone from the NBL next year they only have them selves to blame who would any Illawarra based fan turn up to watch a team who are way out of their depth.

Reply #788463 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

^Can you please use punctuation because that post makes no sense.

Reply #788474 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Bevo left because of the owner, nothing to do with Campbell. This is Campbell second year in charge, they have been a basket case for decades, if anything they have improved.

Reply #788480 | Report this post


Cram  
Last month

"Their use of Ball makes sense, under those circumstances. "

Does it? Did it bring in the local fans? No. They've had better crowds since Ball was out.

"What would you have done with the golden goose, in the same situation? "

Played him limited minutes, or better yet, never signed him. Leaned in to the youth movement - guys who will hopefully be around for the next 10 years to build a connection to the local community. Not a one and done merc.

Reply #788481 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Maybe LaMelo was brought in to see how viable it would be for the Ball family to buy the club?

Reply #788484 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last month

Bevo left because of the owner, nothing to do with Campbell.


And Bevo had problems with the previous Hawks owner before that and also with Wildcats management before that too.

Reply #788493 | Report this post


robt  
Last month

Cram, you answered a couple of my queries and I thank you for your thoughts, and I agree with your thoughts. But your reply completely ignored the crux of my comment when you finished with your 10 year plan.

Try the answers again with the knowledge that you have this season to fix things (whatever needs fixing?). We'll give you Lamelo Ball to help.

NB. I am assuming that this thread-title is not fake news.

Reply #788543 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

A 10 year plan really?

Reply #788552 | Report this post


Insipid organisation.
Hard to believe they were in grand final just three years ago.

Reply #788583 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

No one cares what you write. Your nick is insipid as all the other ones are. Why Isaac hasn't banned then I don't know.

Reply #788705 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

With the post in Will Magnay attracting NBA interest LK states even with the current owner removed in the future the Illawarra Hawks will be staying in the league.
It amazes me how many people on here think they know stuff, when they have absolutely no idea & proof for what is going on behind the scenes. I was taught that if you know nothing it's better to keep your mouth shut & keep your ideas to yourself

Reply #789743 | Report this post


Sounds like someone had too many grumpets for brekky this morning

Reply #789750 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

"No one cares what you write. Your nick is insipid as all the other ones are. Why Isaac hasn't banned then I don't know."

^5 Totoally ludicrous situation to have so many inane nicks that post so much crap. #banemall

Reply #790107 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Bane mall? Ba nemall?

Reply #790109 | Report this post


Perthworld's big brother  
Earlier this month

Hawks are rubbish.
League should let them go.

Reply #790154 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Today has to be the last straw. Bush league to have a leaking stadium

Reply #790254 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Well if they were playing at the Bane Mall this never would have happened!

Reply #790256 | Report this post




 

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