Hawks awarded stay of execution

Hawks captain Oscar Forman in action.Basketball

Wollongong Hawks have won another minor battle on the road to remaining in the National Basketball League.

Administrators and creditors met on Thursday to discuss the progress of the club’s fight to avoid going into liquidation and agreed to extend the period of administration.

The final decision on the club’s future can be delayed for up to 45 business days.

The Hawks need to find enough cash to pay off their debts and stay afloat for the 2015-16 season and beyond.

General manager Kim Welch was pleased to announce the club will be afforded more time to avoid liquidation.

‘‘The decision to adjourn today’s meeting allows us some more time to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for all those affected by the VA (voluntary administration) process and that we also have the best possible opportunity to have a team competing in the NBL next season and beyond,’’ Welch said.

‘‘I’m confident we will achieve a positive outcome at the conclusion of this process, however we need to be patient and follow the correct procedures to ensure we achieve that goal.

‘‘We are absolutely delighted with the support we have received from the Wollongong business community and community as a whole and I encourage everyone to continue to show their support to the club as we work through this next phase.’’

The Hawks were forced into voluntary administration just days after the 2014-15 NBL season wrapped up, thanks in large to Wollongong Coal reducing their sponsorship significantly.

The club has since been rallying support from the Wollongong community and local businesses, many of whom have agreed to chip in and help keep them in the competition.

The Hawks received a big shot in the arm last month when Multi Civil and Rail (MCR) agreed to become the new major sponsor.

They’re not out of the woods yet, however, and need to prove they can meet all their financial requirements before being pulled out of administration.

NBL chairman Graeme Wade believes the Hawks are moving in the right direction.

‘‘The way that Wollongong has rallied around their beloved Hawks is inspiring,’’ Wade said.

‘‘It’s a testament to the club and their fanbase whose passion cannot be questioned.’’

Administrators and creditors have yet to decide on a date for their next meeting.

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