World-famous basketball player John Amaechi has pleaded poverty after his charitable foundation failed to pay a £43,000 architect’s bill to design a basketball centre in Bradford
Manchester-based A-Cube Architects has failed to recoup its fee for designing the centre for the Amaechi Basketball Centre Foundation (ABCF) in 2007, despite obtaining a County Court judgement against the charity.
The practice has now instructed bailiffs to try to recoup the cash from the foundation, set up by Amaechi, who grew up in Stockport and became the first basketball player in the NBA to publicly announce he was gay.
The scheme ground to a halt when the ABCF, which was founded to help children get involved in sports, failed to win £3 million of funding from the National Sports Foundation.
A-Cube founder Faheem Aftab said: ‘We put everything else on hold to get the centre in Bradford through planning. In one month we spent 1,000 hours of work. There are people’s livelihoods at stake here, but he doesn’t care.’
Amaechi told the AJ that he had lost £300,000 of his own money in the failed project. ‘The situation regarding the ABC Foundation is regrettable, but not an issue of negligence or mismanagement,’ he said. ‘I am saddened that we reached this point where a great project can’t be completed, but this is the delays of government quangos rather than any ill will.
‘The foundation engaged A-Cube and the project has failed. In this economy it is not the only good plan gone awry,’ he added.