IMG officials have "friendly" meeting with BCCI bigwigs

Mumbai: Representatives of leading sports management firm IMG on Monday met Cricket Board`s top brass here presumably to give details of financial dealings during suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi`s tenure.

IMG, which conducted the first three seasons of the highly successful Indian Premier League, sent its senior vice president Andrew Wildblood and two other representatives to meet the top officials of the BCCI, including president Shashank Manohar.

Wildblood and his colleagues Paul Manning and John Loffhagen met Manohar, secretary N Srinivasan, vice-president Rajiv Shukla, interim IPL chairman Chirayu Amin and vice-chairman Niranjan Shah among others, for two hours.

"We had a friendly and constructive meeting with the BCCI. We are hoping to have good relations with the BCCI," Wildblood told waiting reporters before leaving along with his other two IMG colleagues.

The meeting was convened by the BCCI to get detailed information on all matters relating to IPL, including the awarding of the global broadcast rights to Multi Screen Media-World Sports Group, since its inception, according to sources.

Significantly, it was held less than 48 hours after Modi responded to the BCCI`s show cause notice on allegations of financial irregularities related to the Twenty20 league with a voluminous reply running into over 10,000 pages.

The IMG officials were to apprise the BCCI top guns everything related to the IPL, including the modalities followed for franchise bids, media rights and player auctions, since 2008.

Prominent among items under the BCCI scanner is the "Facilitation Fee" of Rs 425 crore given by Singapore-based MSM to Mauritius-based WSG which had jointly and successfully bid for the 10-year global media rights in 2008 for USD 1.026 billion.

The original deal that was later re-negotiated to a whopping Rs 8,200-crore for nine years with the same MSM-WSG consortium in 2009 through an out-of-court settlement after BCCI cancelled Sony`s bid for breaking contractual clauses.

On March 15, 2009 BCCI ended its previously signed contract with MSM and on the same day entered into an exclusive new contract with Mauritius-based WSG which was challenged by MSM in the court.

The court proceedings were dropped after the out-of-court settlement was reached after the multi-crore "Facilitation Fee" given by MSM to WSG.