FC Pune City management has taken a shocking decision to release their entire squad, both foreigners and Indian players, due to financial constraints, Goal can confirm.
It has been learnt that a club official communicated to the players and staff on Sunday that they are being let go.
The Indian Super League (ISL) side had initially entertained the idea of skipping the Super Cup. 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.
Goal has also learned that the club has not paid salaries to its players and coaches since the past two months, clearly pointing towards financial trouble in Pune. In fact, the players and staff were told in an earlier meeting that the club do not have a set date on which their pending salaries would be disbursed.
In the same meeting, the players and staff were also told that the management are on the lookout for a potential investor in order to raise funds.
When Goal contacted club CEO Gourav Modwel, he refused to give a straight answer to our queries.
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 Pradyum 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.