The Board of Control for Cricket in India is set to pay a huge compensation of more than Rs 800 crore to disbanded Indian Premier League franchise Kochi Tuskers for terminating their contract in 2011. “Kochi Tuskers has demanded Rs 850 crore as compensation. Today [On Tuesday] we discussed the matter at IPL GC meeting and we will now place the matter before general body. Let them take a call, but obviously, some negotiations are needed,” IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said.
Tuskers’ owners in 2015 had won an arbitration challenging BCCI decision to encash bank guarantee citing breach of contractual agreement. The RC Lahoti headed panel had directed BCCI to pay Rs 550 crore as compensation with 18 percent annual penalty on failing to do so.
For the past two years, BCCI was adamant in neither paying compensation nor were their interested in taking back the franchise in the IPL. “We have to pay Kochi compensation. All legal options have been exhausted. Normally when arbitration decision goes against you, it will be stupid to move Supreme Court appealing against it. We have no option but question is how much,” an influential IPL GC member said.
The decision to terminate the contract for Kochi was taken by then BCCI President Shashank Manohar citing breach of franchise agreement, something majority of BCCI officials were against. “It was one man’s obstinacy that is now costing us a bomb. Had Shashank not taken that decision, we could have worked our way out. In fact, before Kochi went to arbitration, they had asked for a compensation of Rs 300 crore. Even then our officials showed arrogance and now we will be forced to shell out more than double,” the official added.
The BCCI will be trying to negotiate and bring down the compensation to an optimum level. “Even then we will not be able to bring down to less than Rs 600 crore, I feel,” said the official, who had been associated with the case. Meanwhile, in another development, the BCCI will be earning a token amount of Rs 5 lakh from Chennai Super Kings as a part of 5 percent earnings from total valuation of a franchise that transfers its ownership.
CSK is now under the wings of Chennai Super Kings Company Limited (CSKCL) with India Cements transferring its shares to the newly formed limited company. As per IPL rules, any transfer of ownership will mean that BCCI will get 5 percent of the total valuation. Accordingly, BCCI is expected to get Rs 5 lakh and senior officials are not amused. “This is bizarre but true. We will get Rs 5 lakh but we are trying to take legal opinion,” the official said.