Solent Stars - Club Press Release - 2 September 2007

This press release was issued regarding the 2007/08 season

For the first time since 1980 the name of Solent Stars will not appear on this season’s fixture lists for the English Basketball League. The club, which has the longest pedigree of the teams in Division One has fallen victim to a series of circumstances that has made it impossible to continue, despite efforts to do so.

When Fleming Park Leisure Centre decided over the summer to pull the plug on Solent’s occupancy, the dearth of any suitable arena in the region (a sad indictment of our sporting facilities) signalled the end of the Stars.

Owner, Bob Paulley, who currently does not wish to comment, is anxious to protect the game of basketball. He has prepared a 100 page report and sent to England Basketball and other interested bodies stating why the Solent Stars club cannot continue at the present time.

It is known, however, that the Fleming Park decision was just part of the problem for the Stars. The main action was taken by the National Association last year when it renounced the franchise arrangements, forcing several of the private owners to virtually write off their asset value of holding any franchise. This action also led to two other local clubs being accepted into the league.

Owners generally have to pay out a lot of money to keep top-flight basketball on the agenda. Sponsorship has been in short supply in recent years and arrangements for home games have suffered through limited match and social facilities being available. The above combination has not helped the situation.

Solent Stars has a proud pedigree, having won all the major trophies, some in recent times, and can demonstrate a strong development programme including Basketball Academy status in association with Southampton Solent University. It may have been victim of its own success because, as an amateur organisation, it has had to rely on dedicated people to carry it through. With no full-time employee to oversee coaching and financial arrangements, the club has found itself stretched in its ability to co-ordinate its activities.

The directors are grateful for the efforts of all concerned, especially those who have tried to continue Solent Stars senior men’s presence on the national scene. They regret that it will be a disappointment to all talented, local players that there will be no club playing at the top level for the foreseeable future.

Whilst not wishing to be drawn on commenting on the current situation at this time, Bob Paulley is of the opinion that the club can start again in the future.

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