MAY 30, 2024

By Harry Mottram: Team Bath Netball will not be part of next season’s netball super league after organisers decided to boot out the Blue and Golds along with Strathclyde Sirens, Surrey Storm and Severn Stars. Instead, the NSL have included teams from Birmingham and Nottingham who were not part of this current season as big money, TV revenues and larger venues have played a role in setting up the franchise league which will have no relegation or promotion meaning the door is shut on Bath for good.

Fans have reacted angrily to the announcement citing the decision to create a professional league of only eight teams will see the South West along with Scotland without a representative. The teams that will be in the new set up are Birmingham Panthers; LexisNexis Cardiff Dragons; Leeds Rhinos; London Mavericks; London Pulse; Loughborough Lightning; Manchester Thunder; and Nottingham Forest Netball. One fan wrote on Twitter: “Shocked, saddened and fuming. An unbelievably poor decision being made for the south west, women’s sport and the the entire TeamBath family.” While another penned: “Appalling decision from @EnglandNetball.” And others said it was heartbreaking for the players and fans – a sentiment that is likely to be echoed over the coming days.

The size of the Bath Arena may have counted against the club

The open tender process to select the teams for the new NSL included a provision for larger venues to stage the games – with a figure of 5,000 listed. Bath’s arena holds 1,500 which may have been one factor in the club failing to be included.

Team Bath Netball head coach Asha Francis made an emotional statement said: “I wanted to take the opportunity to speak to the fans about the decision that’s been made about Netball Super League 2.0. My reaction to the news is one of complete shock and devastation as well. It’s a franchise with a long history in terms of netball and it is devastation for the south west as a region that there will be no franchise represented in this region. I’m really heartbroken for all of those young women that are aspiring to be netballers that will no longer have role models in this region to come and watch.”

She said her biggest concern was for all those ‘wonderful young ladies will then just head towards other sports. On a personal level she said she had no words – and explained her long relationship with the league and Bath’s role in it. She said the players were devastated and shocked and now faced uncertainty as many of the players had based themselves in Bath to study and play netball.

In a statement by the NSL said: “The NSL 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. With such a significant netball participation and fan base in the South and South West of England, and exciting new arenas planned in Bristol in the coming years, England Netball will continue to work closely with Team Bath and Netball South West to explore options for the future, alongside continuing to provide South West athletes with opportunities to compete in the Netball Performance League (NPL) pathway competitions.”

By Harry Mottram: the latest issue of Bath Voice is out on 1st June – free to thousands of homes in the city and to selected outlets. In this issue news of the Tufa Field plans, Widcombe Art Trail, theatre shows, news of Bath’s female footballers and school transport news plus much more.

The latest issue of Bath Voice is out this week with news, views, previews, what’s on, sport and much more – free to homes in Bath and at selected outlets. You can also read it online at and you can follow us on Face Book and X and of course get regular news on the website at

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