Clock ticking on Wollongong Hawks' bid

Time is quickly running out for the Wollongong Hawks' rescue mission.Despite raising almost $450,000 in foundation membership pledges on the Save the Hawks website, the club appears no closer to securing a $1 million bank guarantee.If the Hawks don't find a guarantor by the end of the month, their chances of surviving and gaining entry in the NewNBL are virtually nil."No-one has stepped up yet and obviously we're desperate for someone to come forward for the sake of the club before it's too late," Save the Hawks spokesman Mat Campbell said.The NewNBL requires all clubs to provide the bank guarantee and a further $500,000 in working capital. Campbell wanted it made clear to any potential guarantor that the million-dollar figure would not actually be a cash donation to the Hawks.The money would remain untouched and only be drawn upon by Basketball Australia in the event of the Hawks failing to meet their financial obligations.Campbell was adamant the Hawks would not face that scenario. He remains supremely confident the club's new-look board has put together a solid business plan based on community ownership and believes the Hawks could survive well into the future."The business model we're developing is one that could be sustained for many, many years. I have no doubts about that," he said. "We are the last remaining foundation club of the NBL and we believe we are the only serious bid from NSW. "In less than a month we have developed a strong not-for-profit organisation structure that will keep this club sustainable for many decades to come."The new organisational structure will open the door for further revenue streams and affiliations with larger community-minded organisations. Not only do we want the Hawks to stay in the competition, the organisation will support the growth and participation of basketball in the Illawarra and will provide the only elite pathway for up-and-coming juniors in the Illawarra and NSW."It will be up to all of those who have pledged and the 400,000-strong community of the Illawarra to get behind the Hawks. "We have over 600 Hawks fans pledged online (www.savethehawks.com) and we want to continue to grow that number in the coming days. So if you have yet to pledge and want to do your part to save the Hawks, please pledge your support online."

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