Archive for March, 2010

True account of the IPL; through the eyes of an insider

The first clarification that this blog writer would like post is that this is no fake IPL player; everything is real and is based on true life experiences of an individual, well entrenched into the Indian sports business sector for over two decades. The gentleman was mentioned by the IPL propaganda machinery as the front runner for one of the two IPL teams that got announced yesterday. I met this gentleman over coffee and sandwiches at a city (not naming the city as his identity would become obvious) hotel, on Friday evening; to my surprise he announced that the IPL is not a viable business model.

 His take was that it was a valuation bubble that could burst any time. I was shocked as I have seen him carry out a detailed evaluation process on the IPL model, for the last three years right since its inception. He proclaimed that when he first heard of the IPL he thought it would be on the lines of the EPL and major American sport leagues; to his astonishment he just sees it as an ego trip for business men, cine celebrities and an IPL czar taking everyone on a ride.

His biggest disappointment was laid in the fact that it was a big time opportunity wasted to introduce league and club sports culture in India.

 The gentleman says the following are the apt acronyms of what IPL stands for and his reasons for the same:

 Indian Parivar League – since more than 40% of the teams are directly or indirectly co-owned by the IPL Commissioner and his extended family, there is no transparency in the bidding process, no body is informed about the exact holding of the stake holders and their actual investments. Genuine bidders are sidetracked and family and friends of the commissioner end up winning the bids. The media has well documented the relationship between the commissioner and his coterie who own the teams.

 Indian Pre-determined League – the team owners had clearly predetermined their cities and the price to be paid for the same. The gentleman cannot believe that the city his consortium and organization had bid for, could not win the bid. He clearly pointed out how a city close to one of the key IPL honcho was chosen over the city he had bid for, confining his choice of city, as a mere catchment’s area. According to the gentleman the city he wanted as the host of his proposed IPL franchisee, still contributes more money than that generated by the entire catchment’s area and host city, represented by this team. He is of the clear opinion that this team has the IPL honcho as its biggest stakeholder.

 Indian Pre-programmed League – The biggest revelation came when the gentleman told me that all the matches are fixed. In the earlier season these was being speculated, but now even the media has information that all the matches are blatantly fixed; according to him. Interestingly this observation was mentioned by the gentleman on Friday evening, He asked me to which teams; I felt were favorites for the two matches the following day. The first had the resurgent KKR Vs the depleted Rajasthan. The second match featured Mumbai and Bangalore. My answer was KKR and Mumbai. He asked me to check the odds with some bookies; I found the matches according to the bookies were in favor of the teams I had chosen….. The gentleman told me that results would be a complete reversal to my prediction…… by 11.30 PM on Saturday night I knew I was wrong, the team that had the odds stacked against it, won….. Rajasthan and Bangalore won despite being the weaker sides on that day.

 Indian Poverty League – since no single team has yet attracted any valuation or buyer in reality even after 3 years reflects on the true valuation and financial status of the IPL. The gentleman has authenticated proof that the Rajasthan Royals has been on sale since the day they got the franchise and have tried to sell to every Indian Business house with a higher valuation. Likewise Deccan Chargers was on sale throughout 2009 at the floor price that had won them the bid. In both case no buyers came up till date, simple reason; the P& L statements was dominated by a prominent red color.

Indian Playacting League – since all the players are completely disinterested and only going through the motions in this jamboree; play acting in front of the cameras to fool the gullible viewers is part of the diktat from the IPL organizing committee. Players are encouraged to show their disappointment when the camera focuses on them, when the team in a precarious position. Similarly over the top celebrations are mandatory acts, delegated to the players post a pre-scripted win.

 Indian Pompous League – since the job of the camera crew is to follow the Commissioner as he makes his every move on the ground. The great ex-cricketers have been bought off to sing praises to him and forcibly applaud the game and the format. Eg   He has passed strict instructions to a former Indian captain to call him the Moses of World Cricket. As the production is managed by the IPL strict instructions are passed to the commentators and experts to validate all the IPL commissioner’s statements: like when he shoots his mouth off, regarding the IPL becoming bigger than NBA etc in the future.

 Indian Public duping league – since the gates of every match are thrown open within half hour of the start of the match and still empty. Strict instructions are given out to the event organizers and franchisees’ that packed stadiums are a must….. If as a public you are buying tickets before the match, take the gentleman’s advice wait outside the stadium till about 15 minutes after the match starts, you will be guided to a free seat inside the stadium.

Indian Pre-primary School League – As the gentleman has found out from his friends in the cricket community, associated with IPL as the supports staff across the teams; it is humiliating for the former cricketers and coaches of International repute,  to take diktats and suggestions from team owners especially the women folk, presented the team by husbands and boyfriends. The cricket knowledge of our starlets and Bhabhi is outrageous. Bhabhi called Ambati Ruyudu, “Ambawadi” post the first match. The less said about Shilpa and Preity the better- a whole blog can be dedicated on the diktats from Bhabhi’s & Didis’.

 Indian Political League – since the overt political power struggle between the Commissioner and BCCI officials & MCA is out in the open now. The last is not heard on this front. You also have an irked home minister and members of the ruling party who are looking at taking on the wily commissioner, who slapped them on the face, by taking IPL-2 to South Africa.

 Indian Philandering League – because that’s what everyone seems to be up to especially Shane Warne and his fellow international contingent. Take a look at Warne’s unfit physic and hidden abs. Yuvraj with his new girlfriend, post a humiliating loss of his team in Bangalore, are just scratching the surface in what is cricket’s version of Love, Sex and Dhoka. The gentleman says that as he was privy to a few post match parties in IPL 1 & 2; if he had a hidden camera with him, he would make the Bollywood flick Love Sex and Dhoka appear Pale.

 Indian Party League – The gentleman believes that he is fine with peripheral packaging of a sports product with the glamour quotient, provided the central focus on the product remains sport. However what everyone seems to be interested is, in the party and Bollywood tamasha, since there’s no cricket left in this circus. The players are seen more in action, off the field that on it. In a few years time teams may party on the pitch itself instead of playing cricket.

  For the readers of this blog, all I can promise is that I have blocked appointments with the gentleman periodically over the next few days as the IPL dupes its viewers and the cricket fans…… I am sure you are waiting for the next revelation from the gentleman on the happenings in and around the IPL

 Till then happy reading

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