A report had emerged on Sunday claiming the Stallions were set to cease operations due to financial strains.

ISL outfit FC Pune City have released a statement announcing their intention to relocate and have also rubbished claims that the club is set to shut down.

Rocked by financial problems, the club have struggled to pay off the dues of their players and staff. Canadian striker Iain Hume and India international Ashique Kuruniyan had written letters to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) seeking the apex body’s intervention in the matter.

The club in their statement released via Twitter addressed the situation saying, “FC Pune City is not winding up its operations” but is “looking at relocating to a new city”.

On Sunday, a report by Goal had suggested that Hyderabad would see its first franchise in the Indian Super League. It is clear in the statement released that Wadhawan Sports Pvt Ltd, who own the club are not selling the outfit. Instead, they are looking for a partial stakeholder and are also in talks with potential investors.

The statement further adviced the contracted players that “all the financial obligations will be met as per the agreed schedule” and told them to contact the club management for any further queries.

This is an indication for ISL veteran striker Hume who had written to the AIFF about the non-payment of his wages. Days later, it was also reported that Indian forward Ashique Kuruniyan had joined the Canadian in contacting the apex body over the unpaid dues.

Pune City statement released on social media

The Stallions also warned other clubs from tapping-up their players directly, without consulting the team management stating, “this is against the statutes put in place by FIFA.”

Still, the future of the top players at the club like Kuruniyan, Vishal Kaith and even Adil Khan hangs in the balance, owing to the ongoing issues. It will be interesting to see how many core members of the team stay with the Stallions in the next season.

In these five years, the club have seen success in patches, making the playoffs only once and could only manage a seventh-placed finish last campaign. However, the late appointment of Phil Brown as head coach steadied the ship for the Pune-based franchise.

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