With FC Pune City embroiled in financial trouble, the fate of the players and staff have been thrown into question ahead of the Super Cup.
Goal had revealed that FC Pune City management has taken a shocking decision to release their entire squad, both foreigners and Indian players, due to financial constraints.
Goal had also learned that the club has not paid salaries to its players and coaches since the past two months. In fact, the players and staff were told in a meeting last week that the club do not have a set date on which their pending salaries would be disbursed.
Though most of the prominent Pune City players are on two-year contracts barring Sarthak Golui, the management has went on to ask them to go back home.
Most of the Pune City stars are on the radar of other ISL clubs. So, how can they do so without the contractual obligations fulfilled?
As per FIFA's regulations of status and transfer of players, Article 14.b (Terminating a contract with just cause for outstanding salaries) states that in case a club unlawfully fails to play a player two monthly salaries on the due date, the player will be deemed to have just cause to terminate his contract, provided he gives the club 15 days (or a period specifically mentioned in the contract) notice to fulfill his dues.
In case the player's salary is not on a monthly basis, the pro-rata value corresponding to two months will be considered. Delayed payment of such an amount is enough for the player to terminate the contract and move on to another club, provided he gives the due notice.
Of course, the player can still take legal action against the club to obtain whatever compensation is owed to him as per the contract. But he can do so while playing for another club, with the current club not getting monetary benefits from the transfer whatsoever.
This rule is for the benefit of the players. In this case, Pune City cannot ask for exorbitant transfer fees from interested clubs for their players as well.
It is learnt that most Pune City players are already looking for new clubs.
The Indian Super League (ISL) side had initially entertained the idea of skipping the Super Cup as a result. But after realising that their commitments as an ISL club involves playing in the Super Cup, the club has now decided to field their academy players in the upcoming knockout competition.
The Stallions have had a disappointing outing this season. A lot was expected from the side after spending heavily to rope in several star players.
With a squad comprising of overseas players like Marcelinho, Iain Hume, Diego Carlos and Indian players like Ashique Kuruniyan, they were one of the favourites to reach the play-offs.
But Pune City got off to a horrible start under Miguel Angel Portugal and the Spanish coach was removed after just three matches. After Pradhyum Reddy took charge of the team on an interim basis, Pune appointed English coach Phil Brown after the winter break.
Under the British coach, the club played six games, out of which they won three, drew two and lost one. They ended the ISL season on the seventh position with 22 points.