Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL), the corporate entity that oversees Reliance Industries (RIL) interests in the field of football, has announced the departure of its CEO Anupam Dutta. In an internal communication, the company announced that Dutta, who was instrumental in the launch of the Indian Super League (ISL), is joining another company as CEO.
Meanwhile, the interim charge of ISL and FSDL has been given to group insider Devang Bhimjyani. “Shri Devang Bhimjyani will hold the interim charge of running the entire operation of FSDL,” the internal e-mail released by RIL said.
The announcement of Dutta’s departure comes at a time when ISL has been reported to have incurred a loss of Rs 100 crore in its inaugural year in 2013. On Monday, All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das disclosed that in the first year each franchise of ISL incurred a loss of around Rs 30-35 crore while the organisers took a hit of around Rs 100 crore.
ISL, a professional club-based football league, was launched by RIL and international sports marketing company IMG in partnership with AIFF. In December 2010, the RIL-IMG duo had signed a 15-year contract with the AIFF for an exclusive commercial deal that included broadcasting, sponsorships, franchise and advertising rights among others, for Rs 700 crore.
Reliance Industries spokes- person didn’t respond to requests for a comment on the development. The company insiders, however, said that Dutta’s departure had nothing to do with ISL making losses and he has moved to “greener pastures”.