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AJ Bell NBL Badminton League To Finish After Three Seasons

Badminton England today announced that the AJ Bell NBL Badminton League will not continue into a fourth season due to a lack of funding.

The Jets were Bristol Sport’s newest team and took the league by storm creating a thrilling and atmospheric match-night held at the SGS Wise Arena.

Since its launch in August 2014, the National Badminton League has over-achieved in its mission to bring a new and younger audience and greater profile, including regular TV broadcast, to the sport.

Over 1.3 million viewers have watched NBL fixtures on domestic TV – through both Sky Sports and BT Sport - and online, with fans from over 120 different nations engaging with the league across social and web channels.

The NBL has offered over 130 players from 15 different nations - including many of Britain’s best young rising stars - the chance to play regularly in front of sell out crowds and TV audiences in a format that has become much talked about.

However, the financial demands to continue to develop the NBL and the high standard of event delivery required, is a significant cost to Badminton England at a time when it has had its UK Sport funding withdrawn.

Adrian Christy, CEO of league administrators Badminton England, said: “This is a very sad day for English badminton, particularly the many supporters of the NBL whose passion and enthusiasm have made the past three seasons something to be so proud of.

“We have worked so hard over many years to develop our own national league and having to now make such a difficult decision does not sit easy. However, given the situation that we are seeking to bounce back from, I believe it is the right one when we have other priorities to consider.

Ian Gorham, Bristol Jets Chairman told Bristol Sport: “We want to thank all of our fans for the incredible support they have shown in the 2016/17 season.

“It has been a truly special league to be a part of and we want to thank each and every one of you for your support.

“From the backroom staff to the player on the court, we are all thoroughly disappointed. Following the funding cuts that Badminton England has faced I believe it is the correct decision to withdraw the league as the lack of funding available has meant it is no longer sustainable."

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