ALEX FAIR THE ADVOCATE North-West Tall Timbers Thunder chairman Tony Barker has confirmed his side has applied to be part of Basketball Victoria’s “elite” competition, but said there was still much to learn before deciding whether it would take the plunge into the new league.
This is despite the fact that the Thunder, as well as Tasmania’s other former SEABL clubs the Launceston Tornadoes and Hobart Chargers, are operating on a very tight timeline, with a decision on the competition’s participants expected on Wednesday.
He also revealed that the one sticking point previously, that the Victorian clubs wished for their Tasmanian counterparts to subsidise their travel costs to Tasmania, may be off the table, but a new issue had arisen with the desire for matches to be double-headers with the Tornadoes, an idea which did not sit well with Barker.
“While nothing has been ratified, they are not requiring that anymore, although there might be some travel costs with referees, but their comment initially that we would have to subsidise the travel for Victorian teams, they have gone backwards on that,’’ he said.
“But the big challenge for us moving forward is the expectation of how us and Launceston work together and what they are requiring and what we will be pushing back on a bit is that all games must be double-headers.
“If that is the case, that jeopardises our door income, both for us and for Launceston, if we only have half the number of home games that we normally would have.
“That is the main issue for us at the moment, but down the track there might be some restructure things in the state, but that for us is the key thing.”
Barker believed there could still be room for negotiation if on Wednesday it is named as one of the teams taking part this year, with conversations set to continue with Basketball Tasmania and between the clubs.
The North-West Thunder, Launceston Tornadoes and Hobart Chargers have all been searching for a new home since Basketball Australia withdrew their support of the SEABL competition in August.