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Chairman rejects call to restart NBL

AAP

AAP

The chairman of the embattled NBL has rejected a call to shut it down and relaunch, saying it will definitely continue next season even with only six teams.

Andrew Gaze, arguably the greatest player in NBL history, called for the competition to be restarted after Townsville Crocodiles notified the NBL this week of their decision to go into voluntary administrating.

That came just eight days after Wollongong Hawks had done the same.

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The NBL, whose 2014-15 season finished last Sunday, is already down to an equal all-time low of eight clubs but chairman Graeme Wade remains defiant.

“There’s a club in almost every state and there’s large numbers of players and coaches and supporters and employees at all these clubs, with big arrangements with sponsors and caterers and stadiums,” Wade told AAP on Wednesday.

“To even be talking about having a season off to deal with some issues that we can deal with as we go along anyway, is not sensible.”

Wade said he had spoken to Gaze and that a season’s hiatus wasn’t warranted and necessary and was impractical.

“There’s lots of things I agree with from Andrew’s perspective, but that isn’t one of them.”

Prolific scorer and Melbourne Tigers and Boomers star Gaze felt temporarily shutting the competition was the way to go.

“Even if these two teams somehow find a way to get through administration, nothing is going to change significantly to turn around their plight because it is a slow burn,” Gaze said on Melbourne radio station SEN.

“So shut it down, regroup and get the right model because the model is broken.

“There needs to be new ideas and a new thought process on how the competition should be run.”

Wade said the NBL was working on contingencies for the size of the 2015-16 competition to be anywhere between six and nine teams, depending on the outcomes with Townsville, Wollongong and a proposed new Brisbane franchise that has yet to be signed up.

“If we have to play with six teams, it can be achieved,” Wade said.

“It’s not ideal and it’s not an outcome that we would be delighted about, but it would only be for a season, and it might give us an opportunity to explore dome different ways of packaging the NBL.”

He was upbeat about the prospects of Townsville and Wollongong backing up, based on the latest updates he had received on both clubs.

“The news out of Hawks is giving people more optimism than before and Townsville this morning have already relayed some positive news out of their announcement last night,” Wade said.

-AAP

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