With doubts raised about who its owners were, IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday said its promoters put in place a corporate structure only after they won the Jaipur team in 2008.
The admission comes within days of suspension of IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, who among other things was charged with hiding his relationship with owners of Rajasthan Royals including his brother-in-law Suresh Chellaram.
There were also reports that Preity Zinta, a co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, did not have a single share in the entity at the time of winning the bid and signing the contract.
“The corporate structure was established in accordance with the details provided in the bid submission shortly after the bid. It was not established prior to the bid, as we obviously did not know if the bid would be successful,” Rajasthan Royals said in a statement.
Raising questions over the ownership of the team on Monday, BCCI president Shashank Manohar said despite Modi’s statement that the entire world knew who the shareholders of Rajasthan Royals were “but the fact is that not even the Governing Council (of IPL) members know about Rajasthan Royals”.
He had also said he did not find the names of Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra in the register of shareholders despite their claims to be stakeholders in the Jaipur-based team.
Like Rajasthan Royals, Manohar had also raised similar questions over Preity Zinta’s stake in Kings XI Punjab.
Rajasthan Royals, however, claimed the consortium neither flouted any norms nor hid any information from the BCCI about its shareholding pattern. It said a majority stake of 44.2 per cent is held by Suresh Chellaram, the brother-in-law of Modi.
The team stated that their bid consortium was led by the UK-based Emerging Media (IPL) Ltd. and denied BCCI chief Shashank Manohar’s allegation that the bidders’ identity was not known.
“The other entities in the consortium were disclosed in the bid submission documents,” the statement read.
“The current shareholders of EM Sporting Holdings Limited, who all have multiple business interests and independent means, are as follows: Emerging Media (IPL) Ltd (Manoj Badale – 32.4per cent), Tresco International Ltd (Suresh Chellaram Family – 44.2 per cent), Blue Water Estate Ltd (Lachlan Murdoch – 11.7 per cent) and Kuki Investments Ltd (Raj Kundra & Family – 11.7 per cent). There are no other shareholders,” it added.
Rajasthan team owners said the revelation of the shareholding pattern is meant to clarify “certain misconceptions about the franchise, which have been raised through the media.”