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Creditors vote for liquidation of NBL’s Illawarra Hawks

Creditors vote for liquidation of NBL’s Illawarra Hawks
May 18, 2020

Creditors have voted to liquidate the remaining assets of NBL franchise the Illawarra Hawks after the team was put into administration for the second time in five years.

A report from administrator Michael Jones revealed the Hawks were unable to meet outstanding debts of more than $2 million and recommended the company be wound up.

It also revealed staff and players who had been stood down since April were owed about $750,000.

The NBL currently owns the franchise licence after taking it back from former owner Simon Stratford, and it has committed to paying outstanding player salaries.

However, there has been no word on whether the league will honour the contracts of other Hawks staff, including coach Matt Flinn, who was one year into a three-year deal.

The Hawks made history last season when their game against the Sydney Kings attracted the biggest ever NBL crowd of 17,514 fans to Wollongong’s WIN Entertainment Centre.

Despite increasing income by almost half a million dollars from the previous year, the franchise still recorded a net loss of almost $100,000 due to an increase in player salaries and operating costs.

The administrator's report noted that the club failed to turn a profit in the past four years, and suffered a $1.7 million loss over the previous two financial years.

The Hawks also struggled on the court, ending the 2019/20 season with 23 losses and just five wins -  the worst season in the franchise's history.

As reported by the ABC, the Hawks are no strangers to financial turmoil yet remain the only team to have competed in every season of the NBL since its inception in 1979.

As recently as 2015, the then Wollongong Hawks entered voluntary administration before re-emerging with a new owner and a new name.

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27th August 2019 - NBL’s Jeremy Loeliger moves from Chief Executive to Commissioner’s role

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