More than three months after the completion of the Indian Badminton League, a few top players of the Pune Piston are yet to receive part of the payment promised to them. According to the IBL contract, players were to be paid in four equal installments, with the final 25 percent to be released within 15 days of the completion of the event.
A foreign player, who requested anonymity, said: "I have been sending constant reminders to the franchise owners about the pending 25 percent of my contract money. I am given a new date every time but the money has not arrived so far. There are other foreign players from my IBL team also awaiting payment."
Juliane Schenk, Tan Wee Kiong, Joachim Fischer-Nielsen and Tien Minh Nyugen were the four imports for Pune Pistons, the team that reached the semi-finals of the inaugural IBL edition. While Schenk was picked up for $90,000 at the auction, the Pistons forked out $44,000 and $35,000 for Nyugen and Fischer-Nielsen respectively. Tan Wee Kiong was signed for $15,000. The auction for all players, whether Indian or from abroad, was conducted in US Dollars, with the contract stating that the IBL had capped the exchange rate at Rs 54.54 to a dollar as per the contract.
Savan Daru, Pune Piston's co-owner, denied there was any outstanding payment.
"All our players have been paid in full. We were a day late in releasing the first block of 25 percent, however we released 50 percent of their contract values a couple of days after the semi-finals. As far as I know, all my players have been paid and that too at the current exchange rate of the dollar," he said.
However, in an email forwarded by the player to The Indian Express, Daru on November 11, wrote that the player would receive the money by November 25, more than two months after the completion of the league. In another email sent earlier, the player was told that the payment deadline was September 25. The player, though, is still to receive the money owed.
Ashish Chaddha, CEO of Sporty Solutionz, the commercial partners of the IBL, had this to say about the delayed payments.
"Pune's franchise came in just a couple of days before the auction. Every franchisee needs to be set up as a company before any financial transaction can be made and some paperwork is pending. Also, every foreign payment is taxed under FEMA and it is these tax liabilities that are pending. The amount is not more than 15-16 lakh and most other players have been paid. The balance amount will be disbursed any day," he said.
Chaddha added that certain foreign players might not be aware of Indian tax laws, the related deductions and that might be a reason for their unhappiness.