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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Mallya threatens to sue Mohun Bagan

Mallya threatens to sue Mohun Bagan

July 23, 2003 10:00 IST

The UB Group has threatened legal action against India's premiere soccer team Mohun Bagan Athletic Club.

UB Group is the sponsor for the club for last six years with investment of Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) so far.

UB sponsors the club through its brand McDowell. It was considering legal action against the club since it has not honored joint venture agreements reached between McDowell and Mohun Bagan Athletic Club.

Under the terms of the agreement (MoU dated December 12, 1997 and joint venture agreement dated February 25, 1998 Mohun Bagan Athletic Club became an equal shareholder in the United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt Ltd.

In an open letter to the media, UB chairman and member of Parliament Vijay Mallya said: "It is incumbent upon the management of McDowell & Co Ltd to protect its interests and participate in any legal proceedings as may be necessary from time to time."

It also clarified that the group was unwilling to address or modify the validly existing legal agreement that led to the formation of the United Mohun Bagan Football team Pvt. Ltd. and its obligation to play under the title of 'McDowell Mohun Bagan.'

The dispute has arisen because the Mohun Bagan club was now passing through a rough patch with internal feuds dogging the club.

UB Group has been brought into this internal feud since a section of the club members challenged the authority of the office bearers who signed the agreement with the UB Group.

"Notwithstanding the success of the football teams, members of the Mohun Bagan Club started pursuing their vested interests and challenging the authority of the office bearers who signed the agreement with the UB Group," the letter said.

"Most regrettably, the controversy related to the internal matters of the club were directly brought to bear upon the football team which was to play as the 'McDowell Mohun Bagan' title on behalf of United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt Ltd," the letter said.

"At the very outset, I have taken great exception to the propagation of the controversy in the sporting matters. There can be no question that the association between the United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt. Ltd. and the UB Group has been beneficial and has produced spectacular results," Mallya said.

"Instead of appreciating these achievements and building greater strength for the future, it is unfortunate that the whole subject has now become plagued in controversy," Mallya lamented.

He has appealed to all concerned to solve this dispute immediately in the interests of the sport, which is the passion of millions of football fans.

BS Bureau in Kolkata