The National Basketball League (NBL) released the following statement from interim Chief Executive Officer Scott Derwin in response to the announcement by the Cairns Taipans that the club had been placed into voluntary administration.

“I received a call from Cairns Taipans majority owner, John O’Brien late last night informing us that he had placed the club into voluntary administration,” said Derwin.

“The decision to hand the club over to administrators has come as a shock to the League as it had received no previous indication from the Taipans that the club was experiencing extreme financial difficulties.

“There was also no prior indication from the club that it intended to take this course of action when the recent issues surrounding the Sydney Spirit were being addressed, which is disappointing.”

“The League understands that John O’Brien is acting in a responsible and ethical manner by appointing an administrator, choosing not to run the risk of trading while insolvent,” said Mr Derwin.  “We are confident the appropriate administrator has been appointed to make sound business decisions regarding the financial viability of the club.

“I will be meeting with the administrator today to determine the extent of the club’s financial situation and to explore all possible options for the Taipans to continue to play in the NBL.  However, it is the administrators, which will ultimately decide the future of the club.

“We remain hopeful that a way can be found for the club to play out the rest of the season.”

Derwin stated that the recent issues surrounding the financial viability of some NBL clubs highlighted why basketball in Australia was undergoing significant reform.  “Basketball now has a unified national governing body to run the sport with a revised management structure focused on delivering strong commercial and community benefits for the sport.

“The need for greater accountability and commercial viability will see the introduction of a more stringent criteria for the ‘New NBL’, in terms of ownership guidelines and financial guarantees, when it is launched next season.”