The London City Royals, the reigning BBL Trophy holders are once again questioning their future as a basketball club on Friday night having been forced to postpone tomorrow’s fixture against the Surrey Scorchers, whilst also stating that ““We are in the process of examining the viability of the club in the current season”.
Saturday night’s postponement is the second such postponement of a fixture by the Crystal Palace outfit, following their eleventh-hour cancellation against the Glasgow Rocks on the opening day of the BBL Championship, with the Scottish club in transit.
The British Basketball League disciplinary committee delivered the verdict on Tuesday 24th December that the Rocks would be awarded a 20-0 victory and the Royals fined an undisclosed sum, thought to be in the £5000 range. Many had openly speculated whether the fine would be the final straw in sending the Royals to the wall.
On the court, the newest BBL franchise has turned heads with their excellent start to the 2019-20 domestic season, bringing home elite British talent in Andrew Lawrence, and bringing veteran depth and star power in the form of the Lavrinovic twins. However, off the floor, the league has been rife with rumours of players and coaches going unpaid which has seen a large overhaul in the personnel on and off the floor.
The Royals came into being in August 2018 and have been an outspoken and ambitious club from the outset. The official statement signed by Royals Chairman Jon Sawyer reflected this, “We have been ambitious in our goals for the team, the outreach community work and our vision for our team as being a real force for social change.”
There are many questions remaining regarding the future of the club, as well as the potential for other sides around the country and beyond to strengthen their rosters with Royals talent should the worst happen, and the club fold.
More to follow.