MUMBAI: The future of the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League remains uncertain. The franchise managed to submit a reply to the BCCI before the deadline of 6pm on Wednesday to incorporate their joint venture elapsed. However, the shareholders have merely sought more time from the board to resolve their dispute, reports Times of India.
The Kochi investors have submitted to BCCI that they need time (approximately another 10 days) to bring changes in their shareholding pattern. They have thus put the ball back in BCCI's court.
"Our legal team is going through it (Kochi's reply)," top BCCI officials said on Wednesday evening about the Kochi reply. The board, it is learnt, is looking at legal implications if it decides to grant Kochi an extension.
Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, the franchisees that were recently axed, are bound to protest if Kochi does get an extension. Further, allowing changes in the Kochi franchise's shareholding pattern would mean allowing it to do exactly what the board had held against the two expelled franchises.
Over the last two months, the Kochi investors had met several times to resolve their internal dispute but failed to do so. However, the last 24 hours seem to have made them see the issue in a different light when they all unanimously agreed to the bigger picture that the franchise was slipping out of hand.
Therefore, backed with a horde of legal advisors, the Kochi investors and the sweat equity holders met at an undisclosed location in Mumbai and are learnt to have come to certain agreements in changing the shareholding pattern. "The only way they could reach a solution to their internal problems is by making the Gaikwads listen to their demands. So, if there's finally a patch-up, that means the Gaikwads have relented," said another official. The proposed idea is likely to have been submitted to the board.
The Gaikwads partly own the 25% free sweat equity held by Rendezvous Sports World Pvt Ltd (RSWPL) that includes Kisan, Shailendra and Pushpa Gaikwad, Puja Gulathi, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad and Sundip Agarwal. Apart from this, Shailendra Gaikwad also holds 1% paid up equity.
The bone of contention was that the remaining investors didn't want the Gaikwads to hold such a huge stake which would give them a larger say in the team affairs.
The Kochi franchise, jointly owned by RSWPL, Anchor Earth Private Ltd, Parinee Developers, Anand Shyam Estates, Film Waves Combine and Vivek Venugopal, was bought at $333.333m, making it IPL's second costliest team. As per the 10-year contract, the franchise would earn BCCI a minimum of $33.33m per year which, as one official pointed, is far more than Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab put together.