The Indian Premier League is set to build upon its successful launch and, in the words of its chairman and mentor, Lalit Modi, has "become very profitable". However, if rumours concerning one of the teams in the Indian press are to be believed, all is not well for some of the teams. The owners of Deccan Chargers, Deccan Chronicle Holdings and M Group, the team which finished bottom of the table despite signing big names like Australia's Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist, Shahid Afridi, of Pakistan, and the South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs, are believed to be planning to offload all or part of their franchise. The Chargers English chief executive officer Tim Wright said: "It is hard to tell about the near future but as far as we are concerned, it is idle speculation.
"We are looking forward to another season of the IPL." Symonds was the second most expensive player "bought" behind MS Dhoni in terms of money at the auction ahead of the IPL's launch in April. The Chargers spent $1.35 million (Dh5m) on the Australian all-rounder alone. The Chargers are valued at $200m that includes the franchisee fee of $107m. However, each franchise received a share of the central revenue from the selling of television rights which amounted to $45 million for the first year.
The numbers would get revised after the IPL decided to increase the number of teams from next year but also gave more branding and advertising opportunities to the franchises, with the possibility of one being based at the new Dubai Sports City. The poor showing from the Chargers prompted some finger-pointing and friction among the players, especially Afridi and captain VVS Laxman. Meanwhile, Modi said the IPL governing council had not heard of the move as yet but confirmed any franchisee had the liberty to go public or sell their stake.