Basketball Australia have told the financially stricken Townsville Crocodiles owners they can't hand back their NBL licence until they prove they are insolvent.
Barrier Reef Basketball, which owns the NBL licence, announced Monday it had returned its licence following crippling losses close to $3 million in the past six years on the back of declining crowds.
But BA's chief executive, Kristina Keneally, released a brief statement saying they would not accept the immediate return of Townsville's licence.
Keneally said the owners had not complied with the terms of the NBL Licence Agreement which would allow immediate surrender.
There's concern within Basketball Australia not only for the future of the club, but also for the NBL itself if it was reduced to a seven-team competition at this stage for next season.
Townsville were once the attendance kings of the NBL with a record 61 consecutive home sellouts.