NETBALL - Severn Stars miss out on place in relaunched Netball Super League - The Worcester Observer

NETBALL - Severn Stars miss out on place in relaunched Netball Super League

Aaron Sutcliffe 30th May, 2024 Updated: 31st May, 2024   0

SEVERN Stars, based at the University of Worcester, have missed out on a place in the relaunched Netball Super League.

Stars are one of four teams not part of the league relaunch along with five-time champions Team Bath, Strathclyde Sirens and Surrey Storm.

The Netball Super League (NSL) will reduce from 10 to eight teams as part of plans to go professional from 2025 with Birmingham Panthers and Nottingham Forest Netball the new sides added.

A Severn Stars statement read: “Though disappointed that the bid to retain the franchise as part of the Netball Super League 2.0 has not been successful, we are hopeful for the future of the sport in the region. University of Worcester is in discussions and hopes to have a strong relationship with new franchise Birmingham Panthers.”

Stars general manager, Claire Sanders, posted on X: “Severn Stars is more than a job to me and I’m heartbroken right now.

“My Stars journey started eight years ago and I have worked my way through the franchise to General Manager and Franchise Pathway Lead.

“I am so proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time but gutted because there was so much more planned.

“Thank you to the Stars board and University of Worcester who have always supported our ideas and have worked tirelessly these last few months to try and retain our place in the NSL.”

The NSL said it will “work with all exiting clubs to ensure they receive a fitting farewell and are celebrated for the significant impact they have had on the league and the sport as a whole to date.”

This season, Stars have enjoyed an excellent campaign and sit fourth in the table having won 10 of their 15 matches and are on course to achieve their highest league finish in their history.

Founded in 2016, Stars became one of three new franchises added to the Netball Super League ahead of the 2017 season.

And they won their first-ever home game at the University of Worcester Arena 53-46 against Celtic Dragons.

Upon announcing the news, the NSL said it selected the eight successful clubs due to their ability to deliver the on and off court advancements needed to raise the standards of the league following a robust eight-month process.

The NSL also feels the new-look competition can provide a stronger foundation as it embarks on a 10-year journey to full professionalisation.

The NSL added that moving from 10 to eight clubs will ensure a greater concentration and dispersion of talent which will deliver a closer, more competitive league with higher quality games and thrilling to the wire action for fans.

Squad sizes will reduce to 10 to ensure clubs are competitive while player salaries will also increase.

And the league will introduce a new salary cap and banding structure to ensure players are paid in a more even and transparent way.

The average salary will increase by at least 60 per cent with the minimum salary payment more than doubling.

The new league will comprise of Birmingham Panthers, LexisNexis Cardiff Dragons, Leeds Rhinos, London Mavericks, London Pulse, Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder and Nottingham Forest Netball.

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