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Why Sahara is upset with the BCCI

Last updated on: February 14, 2012 09:08 IST

Any disagreement in sports should be taken in perfect sporting spirit, says Roy

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The ongoing stand-off between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and corporate giants Sahara India Pariwar took a new turn on Monday, with the latter accusing the Indian Cricket Board of breaking the rules of their agreement.

"The BCCI had committed for a joint statement on the 13th/14th Feb but they have completely flouted it by breaking the news on the 12th Feb itself. Hence, it became imperative for us to clarify the requests that we had made to BCCI," a statement from Sahara read.

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It added that the senior management of Sahara, led by chairman Subrata Roy, met with BCCI officials, comprising president N Srinivasan, IPL chief Rajeev Shukla, secretary Sanjay Jagdale, treasurer Ajay Shirke and IPL CEO Sundar Raman in Mumbai on the February 12, to discuss the issues that had been raised by Sahara when it announced its pull out from the IPL and sponsorship of the Indian cricket team on February 4.

Srinivasan, the statement said, tried to explain the limitations from the perspective of framework of rules with respect to the issues raised by Sahara, and asked Raman to explain them, following which Roy requested the BCCI officials not to elaborate on the rules by saying that any disagreement in sports should be taken in perfect sporting spirit and be resolved accordingly.

Roy further told the BCCI president and his team that there is no point in quoting the rule book and debating it word by word, as, after all, they were BCCI's own rules and not some constitutional rules of the Government of India.

Roy also put forward the point that Sahara has already announced and committed itself to Rs 1000 crore worth sports and social development programs and it is not possible for Sahara to go back on its commitment.


Image: Subrato Roy
Photographs: Reuters
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Sahara asks for extra foreign player to replace Yuvraj

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Sahara's statement:

- The issue of players was discussed so as to ensure a level playing field. To ensure that, the need for an open auction to be held in 2013 was also put forward. Till then, since there is no same level Indian player left who can match up to the level of Shri Yuvraj Singh, we should be allowed one extra overseas player in the playing XI. We should realize that even this is also not enough to compensate for the loss of somebody of Shri Yuvraj's caliber.

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- Roy also put across very firmly that if all teams are balanced, the tournament and all the matches will be very competitive and that viewers will enjoy the competition else the tournament will lose its charm. This is the precise reason why Sahara had insisted on an open auction last year after the induction of 2 new teams.

- Roy said that considering the reduced number of matches that actually took place against the earlier representation of BCCI before tendering for the new franchise, we have ended up bidding 27% extra if we go by the revenues that we would have accrued from media rights, gate receipts, sponsorship revenue etc. There has to be a reduction in the Franchise Fee as per the above.


Photographs: Reuters
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'Only Sahara is required to deposit the Bank Guarantee'

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- The possibility of Sahara seeking strategic partners for its franchise, though this is already factored in the contract for every team. But as Sahara has already announced nationwide Social Development programs worth Rs 1000 crore, it may go for a strategic partner

- The fact that none of the earlier 8 teams who entered IPL in 2008, deposit any Bank Guarantee against Franchise Fee. Out of the remaining 9 teams in the League, only Sahara is required to deposit the Bank Guarantee against the Franchise Fee. Considering that Sahara has never defaulted in last 12 years in any payment that was due to BCCI, this is out and out discriminatory in nature

- Accordingly, if issues related to IPL are solved, then we could also discuss the sponsorship of the Indian cricket Team though it was also put forward that we have to balance our announced sports and social development programs by partly diverting finances committed from cricket into social activities.

- On the subject of the sponsorship of Indian Cricket Team, the right to assign the sponsorship to other Corporates was vested with Sahara.

- In the last 3-4 days, Roy himself, and his team discussed the option of assigning full or partial sponsorship with some corporates. This was done because Sahara has committed to continue to support the Team Sponsorship for 2-4 months till a new sponsor is on board, hence there was a need to finalise the same as soon as possible. As an outcome of the discussions, we were very surprised to note that though they were interested in the opportunity, yet were not willing to pay more than 50-60% of the current value.


Photographs: Reuters
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