Wollongong Hawks major sponsor Wollongong Coal has said it had nothing to do with the shock decision to place the basketball club into administration.
"Any decision to put the Hawks into administration has been made by James (Spenceley) individually as the private owner of the Hawks without any consultation with its major stakeholder,'' Wollongong Coal chairman and CEO Jasbir Singh said on Monday night.
Wollongong Hawks and Wollongong Coal entered a settlement deed in December last year terminating the sponsorship of the mining company from the next season.
Mr Singh said the agreement was reached based on several discussions he had had with the Hawks' private owner, James Spenceley, last year.
"James took over as individual owner of Hawks in mid-2014 and is the sole director on the board of Hawks," Mr Singh said.
"With the private ownership of Hawks, James committed to take all the risks and rewards associated with club."
Mr Singh said since the new owner took over the Hawks, all the decisions were made by him individually and did not involve Wollongong Coal as major sponsor at the time.
"Wollongong Coal spoke with James last year about broadening the sponsorship for Hawks, however, based on these discussions, a mutual deed was entered between James, as sole director of the Hawks, and Wollongong Coal in December 2014, terminating the sponsorship from the next season."
In July 2011, Wollongong basketball fans rejoiced when Arun Jagatramka confirmed his long-term commitment to the club. That was the day his company, Gujarat NRE, now known as Wollongong Coal, became the new naming rights sponsors of the Hawks.
"The Wollongong Hawks will continue to be part of the NBL for the next 100 years," Mr Jagatramka confidently declared at the time.
Two years earlier Mr Jagatramka literally saved the Hawks from extinction when he provided the club with a million-dollar bank guarantee.
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