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Rediff.com  » Sports » IMG officials hold 'friendly' meeting with BCCI

IMG officials hold 'friendly' meeting with BCCI

Last updated on: May 17, 2010 20:30 IST

Representatives of leading sports management firm IMG on Monday met BCCI's top brass in Mumbai presumably to give details of the financial dealings during suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi's tenure.

IMG, which conducted the first three seasons of the highly successful Indian Premier League, sent its senior vice president Andrew Wildblood and two other representatives to meet the top officials of the BCCI, including president Shashank Manohar.

Wildblood and his colleagues Paul Manning and John Loffhagen met Manohar, secretary N Srinivasan, vice-president Rajiv Shukla, interim IPL chairman Chirayu Amin and vice-chairman Niranjan Shah among others, for two hours.

"We had a friendly and constructive meeting with the BCCI. We are hoping to have good relations with the BCCI," Wildblood said.

The meeting was convened by the BCCI to get detailed information on all matters relating to IPL, including the awarding of the global broadcast rights to Multi Screen Media-World Sports Group, since its inception, according to sources.

Significantly, it was held less than 48 hours after Modi responded to the BCCI's show cause notice on allegations of financial irregularities related to the Twenty20 league with a voluminous reply running into over 10,000 pages.

The IMG officials were to apprise the BCCI top guns everything related to the IPL, including the modalities followed for franchise bids, media rights and player auctions, since 2008.

Prominent among items under the BCCI scanner is the "Facilitation Fee" of Rs 425 crore given by Singapore-based MSM to Mauritius-based WSG which had jointly and successfully bid for the 10-year global media rights in 2008 for US $1.026 billion.

The original deal that was later re-negotiated to a whopping Rs 8,200-crore for nine years with the same MSM-WSG consortium in 2009 through an out-of-court settlement after BCCI cancelled Sony's bid for breaking contractual clauses.

On March 15, 2009 BCCI ended its previously signed contract with MSM and on the same day entered into an exclusive new contract with Mauritius-based WSG which was challenged by MSM in the court.

The court proceedings were dropped after the out-of-court settlement was reached after the multi-crore "Facilitation Fee" given by MSM to WSG.

BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty said that the meeting with IMG was to gather information about last season's IPL and its future course.

"This was a meeting which the BCCI and IPL interim Chairman Chirayu Amin were keen to have, about last season's IPL and continuing it further. The BCCI President was also involved in the meeting," Shetty said.

Shetty, however, rubbished news reports which suggested that the meeting was to discuss about IMG's agreement with IPL.

"There was a lot of speculation in the media about the agreement and continuation and all that. There was no discussion on the agreement with IMG because it's already there for 10 years. Today's discussion was not about that," he emphasised.

Shetty declined to divulge details about the discussions, saying they were not for media's consumption.

"We discussed about something we wanted to know from them. You should understand that all the details are not meant for media," he pointed out.

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Tags: BCCI, IPL, IMG, MSM, WSG