Melbourne United have responded to the plans by a consortium aiming to restore the Melbourne Tigers to the highest levels of Basketball by repeating that they own the name and history to the proud club.
Melbourne United CEO Vince Crivelli was at first open to a new Melbourne Tigers by saying;
‘I think the board and (United owners) Larry (Kestelman) and Michael (Slepoy) would listen to anything – they want to see the game thrive’
Things suddenly taken a turn with Crivelli seemingly extinguishing any feelings of goodwill by next saying the following.
“I’d love to see an NBL team come in and match our funding of Basketball Victoria,” he said.
“We genuinely see ourselves as the organisation who are here to serve the game of basketball at NBL level.
“That is why it is ‘Melbourne United’ as opposed to Melbourne Tigers and its one team for all of Melbourne to get behind.”
The Age newspaper reports that United’s hold of the Tigers name in semi professional sport is a gray area and both sides are negotiating on the release which appears to be a contradiction of Crivelli’s comments unless Vince Crivelli was talking about the NBL name which is professional basketball compared to SEABL’s semi professional state.
Melbourne Tigers are understandably curious about why Kestelman, Slepoy and Crivelli did not fund Basketball Victoria when the team was the Melbourne Tigers and waited until they were a new entity to do so, it is a question that will most likely never receive an answer and will leave Tigers fans no doubt wondering what else was held back in the 2013/14 NBL season.
Tigers fans are confident that the Melbourne Tigers once they are in SEABL and are making good business will be able to match or beat Melbourne United’s contribution to SEABL and show that Melbourne United is not the lone voice in the state of affairs of Victorian basketball.
Melbourne Tigers fans are now eagerly awaiting announcements on ways that they can participate in helping the club get it’s SEABL plans underway while calling on Larry Kestelman and Michael Slepoy to be reasonable by negotiating fairly with the Tigers consortium to hand over the name and history at an affordable price so the SEABL journey can begin without problems and the expected to be slow going NBL buildup can start simultaneously as well.