Basketball: Crocs face extinction after owners call time

Townsville were the envy of NBL clubs several years ago. Photo / Getty Images
Townsville were the envy of NBL clubs several years ago. Photo / Getty Images

One-time NBL crowd-kings Townsville are looking for new owners after crippling financial losses forced the club's backers to hand back their licence yesterday.

The club's future in the ANBL remains uncertain with their backers, Barrier Reef Basketball, pulling the pin after dropping almost $3 million in the past six years as crowds continued to decline.

Barrier Reef Basketball chairman George Colbran said he feared for the Crocodiles' future unless a financial white knight emerged to pick up the licence for the 2013-14 NBL season.

"This decision is a result of the company suffering sustained losses from participating in the competition over the past six years totalling in excess of $2.5 million," said Colbran.

"At last year's AGM, the board gave a commitment to the shareholders that the company could not sustain another year of significant losses and warned at that time of this potential decision," he said.

"Sadly, this year's financial result has determined this decision.

"It is indeed a sad day for Townsville, and for the passionate and loyal Crocs supporters, players, employees, volunteers, sponsors and partners notwithstanding the directors and shareholders who've financially supported the club over the past 20 years and more significantly over the past six years as it struggled financially to keep a team in the competition."

Only last week the Crocodiles announced the re-signing of young point guard hopeful Mitch Norton.

Townsville were the envy of NBL clubs several years ago, selling out a record 61 games straight at their home stadium "The Swamp" - the 5257 capacity Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.


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