Administrative issues coupled with an unfortunate chain of events have led the FC Pune City management to a point of no return. One of the founding members of the Indian Super League (ISL), Pune City becomes the first of its kind to shut down first team operations.
Principally owned by the Rajesh Wadhawan Group, Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor also has stakes at the club. With DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation), the primary operating company of the Rajesh Wadhawan Group facing financial turmoil since the last year, it has become untenable for the current set up to lead the club into the future.
Officially, the owners have transferred the right to participate in the ISL to the new entity from Hyderabad.
Pune City were also dealt a major blow when the Player Status Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) imposed a two-window transfer ban and a fine to the tune of INR 5,00,000 for “inducing a breach of contract” to sign Nestor Gordillo from Chennai City without paying the necessary transfer fee.
That would mean the club would not be eligible to land any new signings for the 2019-20 season. However, owners of the team from Hyderabad can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the complete alteration of the club’s legal form and company structure.
If it was simply a case of FC Pune City changing the ownership and moving to Hyderabad, the latter could not have escaped the ban. The prospective deal makes the team from Hyderabad an entirely new entity while disbanding Pune City's first team operations.
It remains to be seen what transfer movements does the new team from Hyderabad make and how many current Pune City players land up in the newest addition to the ISL stable.
Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel was unavailable when Goal tried to reach out for a comment.