Sheffield Hatters, the oldest and most successful team in women’s basketball, may be unable to compete next season because of a lack of funds.
Head coach Vanessa Ellis has said that the Hatters, who were formed in 1961, need £60,000 to enter the WBBL.
“Because of Covid-19, a lot of our sponsors can’t give us as much [money] so we can’t commit to playing next season,” she told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“We’re gutted. It’s out of our hands, there’s nothing we can do.”
She added: “At the moment we’ve let the league know that we don’t think we’ll enter. They’re giving us time to find the funding but it doesn’t look likely that we’ll find the money.
“Over the years we’ve been the most successful women’s team in the country. It’s not just about the women’s success though, we get girls playing sport and the team provides role models for younger players to look up to. There’s a big knock-on effect.
“The league don’t want us to go because they know it’s not good for women’s sport and not good for basketball.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that someone can save us.”
The Hatters won the treble in the inaugural season of the WBBL in 2014-15 and the WBBL Trophy is named after Hatters founder Betty Codona.