Pailan Arrows, the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) pet project, started with the objective of giving young Indian players a chance to play at the highest level in India, might have to start from scratch, as a host of their first team players are set to follow Arthur Papas out of the club at the end of this season.
Goal.com understands that the list includes several players who are on the fringes of the senior national team or have been regulars for the Indian U-23 team, namely Milan Singh, Shouvik Ghosh, Holicharan Narzary, Soram Poirei, Tirthankar Sarkar, Ravi Kumar, Shaiju Mon and Randhan Meitei amongst others.
While a couple of players listed above refused to comment, fearing that the authorities would take stringent action against them, one of the players, on the condition of anonymity, lifted the lid on the conditions at the club.
“Yes, more than ten players are going to break their contracts and move elsewhere this summer,” the player told Goal.com.
When quizzed regarding why the players were looking for a move, our source revealed how their payments are withheld for several months in a row. He stated, “Untimely payments have led to this (unrest amongst players). First too the salaries came almost three months late, but now almost five months payment is pending."
“Some of the players are not from well-off families and have to also feed their families,” The anonymous source further added, to stress on the gravity of the situation.
The player further went on to disclose the problems created by the Pailan group’s staff at the campus in Kolkata. He commented, “The Pailan people are always looking to create problems for the Arrows squad. They set us unsuitable timings to use several facilities. They don’t want Arrows in Pailan anymore.”
The source went on to add how Arthur Papas had fought for the players’ rights, and that his pleas falling on deaf ears might have led to his decision to leave. He revealed, “Papas does not like the way Pailan authorities treat the players. He has taken up several issues. Eventually I don’t think he could stay on, in this Pailan jungle.”
Another player accepted the fact that several months of wages are unpaid, but refused to comment further, to avoid any controversy.
However a mass exodus is guaranteed from the Arrows in the summer, bringing into question the AIFF’s project, which has seen an annual exodus of coaches, now being followed by a mass exit by the players.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.