Plymouth Raiders: Turkish billionaire Enver Yucel buys BBL club

New Plymouth Raiders owner Enver Yucel with his Turkish side Bahcesehir College
Enver Yucel (centre) also owns Turkish basketball side Bahcesehir College

Turkish billionaire Enver Yucel has sealed a takeover of British Basketball League side Plymouth Raiders.

Yucel is the director of worldwide education company BAU Global and the Marine Learning Alliance College, which works with the University of Plymouth.

He already owns Turkish basketball club Bahcesehir College, who are in the last eight of this season's Euro Cup.

"This is an amazing point in the club's history," said former co-owner Richard Mollard, who remains a club director.

He told BBC Spotlight: "They [the investors] definitely want to see championships, that's without question, they've said that quite regularly."

This week, Raiders - who last year made the BBL play-offs for the first time in six seasons - have signed Great Britain international and former NBA draft pick Ryan Richards and ex-London Royals guard Matt Scott, as they begin to flex their new-found financial muscle.

But Ross Mackenzie - who co-owned the club alongside Mollard and will also stay on as a director - said they will not be spending massive money on players.

"There are certain wage restrictions of course, we're not talking about being able to go out and just do things in football money terms," Mackenzie said.

"But what this will allow us to do is look at the market, look at the kind of players that maybe we haven't been able to go in for and bring them to Plymouth."

Yucel, who has bought a majority shareholding, will become club president and is set to attend Raiders' game against the Leicester Riders on Sunday.

The Raiders say "close ties" will be made with Bahcesehir College, while Mollard and Mackenzie are hopeful the club can one day compete in Europe if they can find a suitable new venue.

"We are particularly enthusiastic to encourage the linking of sport and education and of course we want to develop the Raiders into a BBL winning team," Yucel said.

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