The second season of the Pro-Wrestling League has hit a roadblock. Three of the franchises, GMR group, JSW and Garuda Group, which part owns the Mumbai team, have pulled out of the 2016-2017 season.
Sources close to the teams says that PWL rights owners, ProSportify, have failed to put in place a ‘structure of programmes’, one that could help teams start preparations before the announcement of Season 2.
A senior official with one of the franchises said that the league owners have the habit of deciding everything at the last moment, “which is not the way to conduct professional sport”.
However, sources party to the deliberations between ProSportify and the franchise owners say that some owners, including GMR (Dilli Veer) and JSW (Bengaluru Yodhas), have not yet paid their franchise fees from last season. They say that GMR is yet to pay 40 per cent, while JSW has only paid 50 per cent of the fee.
It is learnt that ProSportify is in the process of finalising new teams for Delhi, and Revanta is keen to stay on as Mumbai owners even if Garuda quit, but they don’t have a partner to replace JSW for Bengaluru Yodhas.
Last month, the league owners, in partnership with the Wrestling Federation of India, had announced that Season 2 will be held for a month with eight teams and competition was scheduled from December 15 to January 15.
However, the withdrawals, coupled with the government’s demonetisation plan, have put a spanner in the works. Director ProSportify, Vishal Gurnani, confirmed that they were in the process of finalising new dates.
“Thanks to demonetisation, we have to change our dates. We have to look after the stakeholders’ — sponsors, team owners, broadcast partners — interests. The league will not be held from Dec 15 for sure, but dates of PWL2 will be announced shortly…hopefully by this Wednesday,” Gurnani said.