Mumbai Indians withdraws from Mumbai Schools Sports Association of their five-year sponsorship deal

Mumbai Indians withdraw from Mumbai Schools Sports Association of their five-year sponsorship deal

Mumbai,July28:The chief of Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) feels the body which controls school sports in the city is like an orphan. MSSA President Fr Jude Rodrigues told mid-day yesterday that he was disappointed at Mumbai Indians’ (the Indian Premier League cricket franchise) withdrawal in the final year of their five-year sponsorship deal which ran from 2012 to 2016.

Fifth year issue
Fr Rodrigues claimed that MSSA has not been paid for the fifth year. “We had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mumbai Indians for five years. It is unfortunate that they stopped their sponsorship midway and didn’t give us the money for the fifth year. The payments of the yearly sum that both parties agreed on was sent to us late and they sent us a 45-day notice before terminating the sponsorship,” said Fr Rodrigues, who refused to comment on the amount – either the agreed amount or the balance. It is learnt that Mumbai Indians paid R7 crore before they pulled the plug on sponsorship.

“I have written to Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, requesting her not to leave us orphaned and asked her to continue the sponsorship and give us the pending dues. At MSSA’s AGM held recently, we have decided to take legal action if we don’t get the balance amount. We fulfilled all terms and conditions,” Fr Rodrigues added. According to the deal, the MI name was to be used by MSSA for their advertisements, press releases, fixtures, websites and on social media, besides hoardings at MSSA premises.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from IndiaWin Sports Pvt Ltd, which controls Mumbai Indians, said that the reason for terminating the agreement with MSSA was lack of financial transparency. “IndiaWin Sports Pvt Ltd had joined hands with MSSA to support development for school sports across the city, provide best of infrastructure and professional ecosystem for our young athletes. However, with great disappointment we had to exercise our entitlement to terminate the agreement with MSSA last November after fulfilling all our obligations till the date of termination.
MI unhappy with MSSA
“Unfortunately the association had to be terminated for the lack of financial transparency, unprofessional conduct of tournaments and failing to develop the requisite infrastructure like rebuilding stands, refurbishing football pitches and basketball courts etc,” the spokesperson said.
Reacting to IndiaWin’s claims, Fr Rodrigues said: “We haven’t received the fifth year’s sponsorship money. What financial transparency are they talking about? We submitted all accounts. We did work on tennis and basketball courts. I have not taken the money home. It has been used for the well being of the school body. And why didn’t they tell me all this directly?” he asked.