BBL Cancels Remaining 2019/20 Season
Today the British Basketball League announced, "It is not without sadness that all clubs have unanimously agreed that the remainder of the 2019/20 season be cancelled and that when able to do so, competition should recommence with the new 2020/21 season. Following the cancellation of the season, and based on multiple teams mathematically capable of winning, the independent directors of the BBL Management Board have agreed that there will be no winner of the championship title."
The Glasgow Rocks released the following statement shortly afterword, "When the season was postponed Glasgow Rocks had completed 75% of their championship games and were clear at the top of the table with only 5 games remaining. It is disappointing but not in the least bit surprising, that the BBL board have decided to dismiss the efforts of our coach and players who at the time had proved themselves to be the strongest team in the Championship. Glasgow Rocks accept the decision of the BBL and will make no further comment on the matter."
BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker has said, "Obviously this is not the way anyone wanted to see the season end and we worked hard to try to find an alternative solution. The 2019/20 season was one of the most exciting and competitive we’ve seen and shaping up to a very exciting finish, and we look forward to building on that as we move into the new 2020/21 season. We looked at every option, including playing behind closed doors or restarting the season in the summer, in order that we could get to a League and Playoff winners, but with the continued uncertainty, we just ran out of time and options. The clubs were united that now was the right time to bring the current season to a close."
The BBL are working towards starting their new season in autumn as normal but will only be able to set an official launch date when the Government announces that it is safe to do so. The BBL also announced that for the 2020/21 season the Cup and Trophy competition formats will remain as they were in 2019/20 season but that the Championship will return to teams playing each other three times over the course of the season. "Playing to full arenas would be ideal but there is currently no certainty on when that will be, and we are exploring all options in close consultation with our Clubs. The atmosphere at games across the League is always electric and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible. The safety of players, coaches, club staff and fans is paramount and we will be adhering to all guidelines to allow you all to return safely. We do understand that these plans can change and so we’re doing appropriate contingency planning while retaining flexibility, so that we can act quickly and safely when we need to."