FC Pune City owners confirm move to new city

FC Pune City Logo

PUNE: The owners of FC Pune City have quashed reports that the club is closing its operations, declaring on Monday that the Indian Super League club is in fact relocating to a different city.

In a statement released by the Stallions, the club has promised to meet its financial obligations towards its contracted players without delay.

Wadhawan Sports Pvt. Ltd, which won the bidding rights for the Pune franchise since the inception of the league, will continue to hold the reigns to the club and is seeking potential investors to raise capital.

The statement issued by the club reads: "Wadhawan Sports Pvt. Ltd., which owns FC Pune City, is not winding up its operations, as it has been floating around in some news publications, but in fact looking at relocating to a new city. The company is in the process of raising capital through partial stake sale and is in contact with potential investors, as is the process followed by several clubs in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), I-League, and globally.

"To all those concerned clubs who have been approaching players contracted to FC Pune City directly, we would like to remind them this is against the statutes put in place by FIFA. We would ask these clubs to kindly contact FC Pune City club management.

"To all the players who are contractually obligated to FC Pune City, we wish to wish to inform you that all the financial obligations will be met as per the agreed schedule. We advise you not to fall prey to frivolous rumours surrounding the club, and approach/inform the club management od any inquiry you might have."

While the club statement does not mention the new "home city" of the beleaguered club, football website Goal has reported that the next port of call for owners Rajesh Wadhawan Group and its principal promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan is Hyderabad. An industry source has further told SportzPower that Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao is "actively supporting" the move of the club to the state's capital.

As and when a new investor is officially announced, the Stallions will become the fourth top-tier club from Pune to wind up operations in in the last five years.

The roll call of enterprises that failed in their efforts to build a viable football ecosystem in Maharashtra's second biggest city now include - Ashok Piramal Group, Kalyani Group, DSK Group and Rajesh Wadhawan Group.

The City of the Peshwas cannot sustain a professional football team appears to be the sad truth coming through for potential football club investors.