THE fight to save Chester Jets is on - and the club needs your help!
Jets stalwart Mike Burton's resignation as head coach and director last Friday has left a huge void and there are fears the former BBL champions could fold.
Committee members are determined to keep the Jets going, but time is ticking away and the BBL needs to know by the end of the month whether Chester will be able to field a team in next season's championship.
Anyone interested in keeping the club alive - from fans to potential sponsors - is being urged to attend a meeting at the Northgate Arms pub in Chester on Sunday (5pm). Top of the agenda will be how to raise the £75,000 needed to run the team next season.
Team manager Andy Green said: 'First of all we need to secure our future. By the end of the month, we need to have told the BBL that we can guarantee our participation in next season's championship.
'In order to do that we need to be sure we have a budget. The more we have, the better we can run - but £75,000 is the minimum.
'It would be nice to find one business who would donate the money but we are not a Premiership football team, that just doesn't happen. Instead, I am looking for 20 or maybe 30 local businesses to share the sponsorship.
'We are also hoping to get fans to apply early for season tickets - and we will not take any money until our future is certain.'
Burton, known to many as 'Mr Chester Jets', had given 19 years of dedicated service to the club.
He almost stepped down last season, but was persuaded to stay on for one last year.
He confirmed his retirement in a letter in the matchday programme for last Friday's home defeat to Guildford Heat - Jets' final game of the season.
In the letter, Burton spells out what the future could hold for Jets. He says the club could be 'parked' for a season, returning to action in the 2008-09 campaign, or suggests moving to another location close to Chester.
After dominating British basketball at the turn of the century, Jets have fallen on hard times in the last two seasons. The sport no longer attracts the media coverage and exposure it once did, and Jets have struggled to secure major sponsors as a result.