Trouble is brewing for the Pro-Wrestling League’s (PWL) second season, which is slated to begin from January 2.
Uday Garudachar of the Garuda Group, which part-owned franchise Mumbai Garuda in the inaugural edition, is set to take the league owners and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to court.
The Mumbai team won the inaugural season after beating Haryana Hammers in the final last year, but as per Garudachar, promoters ProSportify have not paid them the winning purse of R2 crore.
“They haven’t paid us the prize money till date and I’ll take them to court. They have filed a caveat and we have to inform them before proceeding. Once that is done, we will file the motion,” Garudachar told HT.
He added that ProSportify tried to pacify him by agreeing to adjust the pending amount for expenses in the current season.
“I told them to pay the prize money first, instead they got an undertaking from my partners – Revanta Group – saying we have received the money. This is fraud and once all the formalities are done we will fight this legally,” said Garudachar.
On December 14, ProSportify terminated the franchise agreement with Garuda and Revanta Sports Private Limited citing “default in payment of franchise fees for the second season of PWL, along with the bank guarantee for players’ fees.”
Despite several attempts, Kartikeye Sharma, ProSportify chairman and Vishal Gurnani its director, did not comment on the latest controversy to dog the league.
The termination, Garudachar said, was the final straw. “Forget about the illegality of the termination, they cannot hold the players auction that they did. All this will come up in court.”
He added the WFI will have to answer as its president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, is a Member of Parliament.
Singh said the WFI didn’t have a say in the matter. “The contract was between ProSportify and the Garuda Group. I don’t think we can be a party to this dispute,” he said.
Since its inception, the league has been in the news for the wrong reasons. Several international players knocked on the United World Wrestling’s doors after their wages weren’t paid in time.
Last month, three franchise owners – Garuda, Dilli Veer owners GMR, that owns the Delhi Daredevils, and JSW Group, which also operates Bengaluru FC, left the league on a bitter note.
Even the WFI served a termination notice to ProSportify for breach of contract rules.