British sports may suffer from a big loss for 2020/21 as the Sheffield Hatters have announced they may not be able to compete due to financial difficulties.
It was revealed by the Sheffield Star on the 6th July that the basketball team would need £60,000 in order to enter the WBBL next year, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, their usual income and fundraisers have been unavailable.
Speaking to the Star, Head Coach Vanessa Ellis said: “We’re in a difficult financial position so we can’t commit to playing next season. We’re all gutted. It’s out of our hands really.
“We’ve let the WBBL know that we don’t think we’ll enter the league.”
The WBBL has left the door open to the Hatters as they seek to fundraise for next year.
Coach Ellis said: “They’re giving us time to see if we can find funding. They haven’t just said ‘you can’t enter’ but it doesn’t look likely that we’re going to get that money.”
The Hatters are the only voluntary club in the league and aren’t supported by any big businesses or universities, which may be why they are the first team to disclose financial difficulties.
Furthermore, the missing senior team may have a large effect on the Hatters’ expansive junior squads. Coach Ellis explained to the Sheffield Star that without a team to compete in the WBBL, the role models the junior athletes look up to won’t be there.
As the most successful team in the history of British Basketball, the Hatters have a history steeped in glory and have won the “clean sweep” of League, Cup and Playoff trophies 10 times.
It’s no wonder the WBBL is giving the team the opportunity to find the funds as it would be a huge loss to the competition.
You can donate to the team at the link below, and anyone able to offer significant assistance to the team can contact firstname.lastname@example.org