PETE Winkelman says he is very sorry to hear the news that MK Lions have been forced to quit Milton Keynes, and insists he has been working hard to try and prevent them leaving.
The MK Dons chairman is pictured presenting Lions chief executive Vince Macaulay with a British Basketball League coach of the month award back in 2009 – a year after they lifted the BBL Cup.
Back then the plan was for Lions to move into the arena next to stadium:mk after they left the old Bletchley Leisure Centre. However, with the completion of the arena delayed by a couple of years, that will no longer happen, and it will be used for music and corporate events instead.
Winkelman said: “This is not the news anyone in Milton Keynes wanted to hear. We are still a year away from completion in the arena and we have been working very hard behind the scenes with a range of other organisations to try to avoid this happening.
“We had hoped the support from the ice rink may have served as a short-term solution for the Lions.
“Ultimately Vince has the responsibility of the club, his players and supporters resting on his shoulders and he has to try and find the most sustainable option.
“MK Lions have been a great asset to Milton Keynes and we are all sorry to see them leave.”