Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sourav Ganguly will step down as the director of ATK Mohun Bagan to avoid a conflict of interest as RPSG Group bought Lucknow’s IPL Team

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To prevent a potential conflict of interest, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has opted to resign as a director of ATK Mohun Bagan, the football team owned by RPSG Ventures Ltd, the Indian conglomerate that bought the Lucknow IPL franchise for a record INR 7,090 crore on Monday.

Sourav Ganguly has begun the process of stepping down as manager of ATK Mohun Bagan, one of India’s two most venerable and popular football clubs, which competes in the Indian Super League. Ganguly is a stakeholder as well as a director on the ATK Mohun Bagan board of directors. To avoid conflict, Ganguly is expected to take down from his job at ATK Mohun Bagan for the duration of his presidency of the BCCI.

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On Monday, RPSG vice-chairman Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of Mohun Bagan and the as-yet-unnamed Lucknow IPL club, told CNBC-TV 18 that Sourav Ganguly was on the verge of stepping down. “Well, I think he is going to step down from Mohun Bagan completely… I think today,” Goenka told the business television network. “It is for Sourav to make the announcement. I mean, sorry. I think I pre-empted it.”

Sourav Ganguly would violate the BCCI constitution’s ‘direct or indirect interest’ conflict regulation if he continued to hold posts at both the BCCI and Mohun Bagan. The rule states: “When the BCCI, a Member, the IPL or a Franchisee enter into contractual arrangements with entities in which the individual concerned or his/her relative, partner or close associate has an interest. This is to include cases where family members, partners or close associates are in the position that may, or maybe seen to compromise an individual’s participation, performance, and discharge of roles.”

This isn’t the first time Sourav Ganguly has been accused of having a conflict of interest in his BCCI position. He and his former India teammate VVS Laxman were found to conflict with interest in 2019 for having multiple positions in Indian cricket. Sourav Ganguly was the president of the Bengal Cricket Association at the time, as well as an advisor for the IPL’s Delhi Capitals and a TV host.

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