Essex Pirates Withdraw from the BBL September 18, 2011 20:20

It has been announced by the BBL, that the Essex Pirates have withdrawn from the league with immediate effect.

The BBL have reported that, " the decision has been reached after a Franchise Review, which followed notification of potential operational challenges by the Pirates Management."

Other sources are suggesting that the loss of the Pirates' main sponsor has ultimately led to the demise of the team's finances, thus forcing the club to withdraw from the league.

The London Leopards, from EBL Division One, have accepted the BBL's invitation to compete in the BBL Trophy in the Pirates place. The Leopards, itself a former BBL team, join a group containing Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and Prestige Homes MK Lions.

The 2011-12 BBL season starts on Friday 30th September.

The BBL league now comprises of just 11 teams for the new season.