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Capitals call for BA to show strong leadership on pay deal

The Canberra Capitals have called on Basketball Australia to drive the WNBL forward as an increased player pay deal sparks concerns about the viability of some clubs.

The WNBL's minimum player wage has risen to $13,000 following a move driven by the players association but questions have been raised about the ability of eight clubs to support the 75 per cent increase.

The Capitals hope a better pay deal will keep players in the game for longer and inspire the next generation.

The Capitals hope a better pay deal will keep players in the game for longer and inspire the next generation.Credit:Jamila Toderas

Capitals general manager Lucille Bailie lauded the move but concedes it is "barely part-time, they could go and pull coffees at McDonalds or a cafe and probably gross that much… we've still got a long way to go".

To ensure clubs can continue to support increased wages, Bailie says it is imperative Basketball Australia shows strong leadership to make all eight clubs viable.

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The WNBL has no salary cap in place which inevitably leads to concern about smaller clubs struggling to keep up with their wealthier counterparts.

The Adelaide Lightning were in danger of going under with the club's crowd numbers and finances in dire straits until they were rescued by a private consortium earlier this month.

"There has been a lack of consistency over time. Right now Canberra is doing a great job of attracting crowds and putting out a quality product, but weve got to consolidate what were doing," Bailie said.

"The Melbourne Boomers and Townsville are doing great, but Adelaide arent doing so well so we need them to spike. We need eight clubs consistently delivering quality experiences and growing revenue.

"Its not rocket science, but we also need significant support from Basketball Australia, who own and operate the WNBL.

"We need eight fully functioning, viable clubs, but we need strong leadership, funding and support from Basketball Australia to help drive and lead the league and individual clubs.

Huge community support is something the Capitals hope every club can repeat.

Huge community support is something the Capitals hope every club can repeat.Credit:Dion Georgopoulos

"We know its a tough game for the eight clubs to be viable as individual business entities. Accordingly, its a sensible approach to increasing the minimum wage and it needs to evolve.

"Its also a good reminder that if clubs are competing in the league, we need clubs to be viable businesses that compensate their employees, the players, appropriately."

Former Melbourne Boomers general manager Justin Nelson took to social media to remind everyone to put the eight clubs at the top of the thank you list, tweeting "after all, it's the clubs that pay all player wages in the league".

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