Game may be over
EMERGENCY talks this afternoon could determine whether the Cairns Taipans finish out the NBL season.
Basketball Australia's acting CEO Scott Derwin is reported to be flying to Cairns to meet administrator Tony Johnson of KPMG who were called in as administrators by the club on Monday night.
In an announcement that has sent shockwaves around the the city, part-owner and director John O'Brien told a media conference his company, Pacific Toyota, could no longer continue to support the 10-year-old NBL franchise.
Mr O'Brien blamed the impact of the world financial crisis on the automotive industry for the decision, saying his responsibility was to ensure the viability of his core business.
"We initially supported the Taipans because we believed the team would be a great boost for the people of Cairns, and it certainly has been," Mr O`Brien said.
"But we have to act in a financially responsible manner for all involved and, like virtually every company on the planet, we have to cut back.
"We understand and really do sympathise with the players, the staff and the fans and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their commitment and passion towards the Taipans over the past 10 years."
The Taipans' debt is not known but speculation during a recent war of words with Cairns Convention Centre managers AEG Ogden was that the club was losing $800,000 a season.
Mr O`Brien said all staff entitlements would be met and player payments would be negotiated between the administrator and the NBL.
The Taipans, who are scheduled to play Gold Coast Blaze on the Gold Coast this weekend were told of the decision after a training session yesterday morning and quickly left their training stadium without comment.
Coach Alan Black, in a brief statement to The Cairns Post, said while the players and coaching staff knew the club was doing it tough, they had been given no indication it was about to fold.
cairns.com.au will keep readers updated on the Taipans story during the day. See tomorrow's The Cairns Post for a full wrap.
Share this article
Players left the training court when they heard the bad news yesterday.
THE re-introduction of Jetstar's four weekly direct services to Osaka in Japan and a doubling of flights to Melbourne from April 1 next year are the first significant announcements today by the airline as the result of a new agreement with Cairns Airport.
INSPIRING young leader and cancer survivor Kate Smith could hardly believe she won a national Pride of Australia medal last night.
BREAKING NEWS: Tony Abbott is the new Opposition Leader.
BREAKING NEWS: Police have found a man who escaped from police custody at Ravenshoe on Sunday night.
THE girlfriend of a man accused of raping and attempting to rape two foreign tourists at a Cairns caravan park says she watched him bash and strip one of them then chase after her.