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ISL Media

Report: FC Pune City likely to cease operations, could be replaced by Hyderabad franchise

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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The Stallions have been in financial strife since the start of last season.

FC Pune City are edging closer to ceasing operations as an Indian Super League (ISL) franchise after financial problems rocked the club, five years after its inception.

According to Goal the Stallions might not be taking part in the ISL next season due to financial crunch making it not viable to survive in the league anymore. This comes after star players Iain Hume and Ashique Kuruniyan had penned letters to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) earlier seeking rerresal on the lack of multiple months' payments which they were due from the club.

The club had apparently reached a settlement with the Canadian star, promising to pay him his full dues within the second week of July in two separate instalments. While the management have cleared some of the impending dues of squad members, there is still quite a lot required to provide in order to settle the amounts for everyone associated with the team.

Moreover, Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwell also spoke to Goal regarding the situation saying, “We are in discussions with multiple investors with different possibilities. We will take a final decision once we conclude the process," indicating that perhaps there are chances that the Stallions' owners are looking to sell off the outfit.

There are reports that the new investors will be from Hyderabad and will apparently look to relocate the club to that city, creating a brand new franchise for the ISL next season. That being said, the uncertainty regarding the club is probably making top players like Adil Khan, Kuruniyan and Vishal Kaith want to reconsider their future by moving onto other clubs interested in their services.

A possible takeover by a new owner could also put the future of many other players at risk, considering they might not be part of the plan going forward. Moreover, the delay in their payments is itself a breach of contract from the Stallions, making it possible for the players to leave on a free if they wanted to.

As the ISL was apparently looking for bids from new franchises from different cities to widen the growth of the league, there might be a new one replacing one of their founder franchises soon enough. In their five seasons, the Stallions have only made the playoffs once and finished seventh in an extremely topsy-turvy season, with Philip Brown’s introduction as head coach helping stabilizing things.

However, with their future looking uncertain due to the financial troubles, they could be the latest team from Pune to go out of business. In the past, sides like Pune FC and DSK Shivajians have been forced to discontinue operations due to problems, while the latter still continues its youth academy. It’s potentially a worrying time to be a Stallions fan and after suffering ups and downs throughout, their ISL journey might be coming to a bitter end.



Published: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:25 AM IST

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