The ‘king of good times’ Vijay Mallya has been in the midst of bad times for quite some time due to the amount of financial debt he and his company have accrued over the years, mainly through his failed venture Kingfisher Airlines. The news media in India have hounded Mallya during recent times over his failure to pay his ex-Kingfisher employees and settle more than 7,000 crores in outstanding debt.
Mallya has left India and is now living in the United Kingdom and has a non-bailable warrant out for his arrest in India. Mallya is also the director for the Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited (RCSPL), the parent company that owns the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise the Royal Challenges Bangalore (RCB). In the midst of this controversy, Mallya recently announced that he has decided to step down as the director but will still play a key role in the franchise as he has taken on the title of ‘chief mentor’.
Mallya who loves the limelight recently took part in the 2016 IPL auction representing RCB and paying out a massive 9.5 crores to buy Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson. The BCCI suspended two IPL franchises in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2015 for a period of 2 years as their owners were found to have indulged in match fixing activities.
Considering the amount of controversy that Mallya has stirred and the fact that there is a warrant out for arrest, Mallya might have played it safe by distancing himself from the RCB franchise in order to protect the interests of the team. Back in 2008 when Mallya was the director of the UB group, he purchased the RCB franchise for a period of 10 years (2008-2017) after paying out $111.6 million. Mallya has now appointed his son Siddhartha Mallya to the board of directors for the RCSPL.
Mallya’s company sent a letter to the BCCI which said “Dr Mallya will have the honorary title of chief mentor for as long as his son Siddharth Mallya remains on the RCSPL board. This is the limited role which enables the various members of the RCSPL board should they wish to consult him. In light of the above, this letter is to confirm to you that following this change, Dr Mallya has no longer authority to represent or bind RCSPL or RCB team and its operations.”