VNS Team Severn Stars Seeking New Co-Owner After University Of Gloucestershire Withdraw Funding

The Severn Stars are facing an uncertain future as one of their co-owners announces they will not reinvest in the team at the end of the 2022 season of netball events.

The Vitality Netball Superleague team announced on Twitter that one of their co-owners, The University Of Worcester, has asked England Netball to take over ownership and management of the franchise next season.

The reason for this move is due to the University of Gloucestershire, the other co-owner of the franchise, announcing that they will not renew their part-ownership of the franchise beyond the 2021/22 netball season to focus on other parts of their sports strategy.

England Netball, the main governing body for the sport in the UK and the organisers of the Netball Superleague have been asked to intervene to avoid the Severn Stars, formed in 2017, from meeting the same fate as the Glasgow Wildcats, the Yorkshire Jets and Team Northumbria.

The Wildcats were the first Scottish team to join the league just three years after its inception in 2005.

Unfortunately, after three years and a highest placing of seventh in the league, England Netball decided after a review to cut the number of teams from nine to eight, dropping the last-place Wildcats who had scored no points and lost all 16 of their games.

After this was the Yorkshire Jets, a team originally known as Leeds Met Carnegie and had been around since the start of the Netball Superleague in 2005.

When the league expanded from eight teams to ten in 2016, the Yorkshire Jets were left out, having won only one game in their last season. The move was controversial at the time and remains controversial to this day.

Finally, Team Northumbria, formerly the Netball Super Cup’s Northern Flames withdrew in 2018 as part of budget cuts at Northumbria University’s elite sports programmes, which included not only their netball team but also football, basketball, volleyball and water polo.