Syed Nayyar uddin Ahmed
Certain new developments and demands that the matter of the formation of Pakistan Super League Pvt Ltd. (PSLPL), as a separate company from the PCB, be immediately brought into attention as there are some serious financial and managerial issues at stake that require subsequent handling by a separate company as many such issues become complex with the addition of more teams in the near future.
Recently, PCB has officially stated the following three reasons for the formation of PSLPL on its website. First, most PCB earnings come from foreign sources, while most PCB expenses are incurred domestically. Therefore financial handling is very easy like any other Pakistani exporter. But it is the opposite with PSL in which case, most of PSL income comes from domestic sources while almost entire expenses are incurred outside Pakistan. This requires complex foreign exchange reserves and permissions from State Bank of Pakistan for forex payments to foreign venues, event managers, foreign players, boarding and lodging for teams and officials, etc. The facilities currently allowed to PCB for such foreign payments are simply inadequate to cater for the timely and significant transfers of monies required by PSL which are bound to increase with the addition of new teams, players and longer duration of the tournament in 2018 and subsequent years. A separate company with separate financial permissions from the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan will be better geared to cope with this problem.
The PCB already operates about four accounts in Dubai as it is earning foreign exchange as income, from ICC and other matches abroad. Therefore, it has deposits there. It is also paying for expenditures in the UAE, in connection with hosting of our matches.
As the PSL is being held abroad, there will absolutely be no issue for the PCB to make payments from its bank accounts. As such, no government red tape or other rules are any hindrance, in payments of foreign exchange or PKR, abroad or in Pakistan, respectively. PCB doesn’t need special permission from government to make payments as PCB already have several foreign exchange accounts in Pakistan, as well. In view of the foregoing, there is no justification to make PSL a separate company from PCB, on such concocted or imaginary excuses.
State Bank of Pakistan provides forex for all genuine requirements. Saying that procedures are difficult to comply is like criticizing government of Pakistan and its rules. If PCB and PSL earnings and spending pattern are inverse to each other that should act as a blessing: as combining both, solves the problem.
Why a separate company is needed to obtain a special financial permission? Finance ministry is always authorized to issue SRO allowing PCB to make payments in dollars to all foreign based players and organizations. All Pakistan based organizations, players and officials should be paid in local currency. This may be one of the reasons why the proposal for new organization is being fast forwarded, so that to get payments in foreign currency, resultantly getting savings on income tax. If PSL is made a division of PSB, then a simple SRO from finance ministry will solve all their problems. Remember, in corporate sector it is common practice to produce for local market and for exports. They keep separate details of accounts to avail export concessions, still annual accounts are prepared as one company. Since, PCB always claims to bring corporate culture in it, why not start with this corporate practice.
Secondly, the understanding with Franchises envisages the inclusion of independent professional managerial and financial expertise for purposes of transparency and neutrality in which meaningful and continuous consultancy with franchisees, who have invested millions of dollars into PSL, is made institutional. There is a need for a dedicated team to supervise this dynamic process and purpose.
Thirdly, the PCB is subject to political hiccups since it is a statutory body with the Prime Minister of the political party in power as the Patron. The PSL, on the contrary, cannot afford to be subjected to political instability because the investment in it is primarily from the private sector. The PSL financial model is a 10 year model, with negative results for the franchisees in the first few years and huge profits in subsequent years. It needs continuity of policies and management to be successful as additional teams are fielded and more investments are made by new franchisees.
This point is a charge sheet of PCB. It says that a separate organisation is required for the reasons of transparency, neutrality, professionalism and ability to provide consultancy to franchise owners. This is straight forward acceptance that these traits are absent from PCB!!!!!
If we accept this point of view, then the decision of PCB to establish a separate private company for PSL was also non- transparent, biased and non- professional. Therefore, must be nullified by PM’s intervention immediately.
This flimsy argument is not only self-contradictory, but hilarious and ridiculous, as well. To whom this official statement on the PCB’s website is trying to deceive? Everywhere, it is being propagated by the top notches of the PCB, in the media and also on the PCB’s website that this PSLPL will be 100% owned by the PCB.
At the same time PCB officially states on its website that “the PCB is subject to political hiccups since it is a statutory body with the Prime Minister of the political party in power as the Patron.” Now, if the PSLPL will be 100% owned by the PCB, what difference it will make on the control of the government, when the PM of political party in power, will be naturally, the Paton-in-chief.
Furthermore, the above official statement of the PCB, that too on its website, is firstly, not only a clear no confidence on the PM of political party in power, who obviously cannot be illegal ruler or dictator of the country; and comes into power with constitutional and legal authority: and secondly, an insult of the authority of the PM of political party in power. Moreover it is also a blatant condemnation/indictment of the political system, enshrined in the country’s constitution; and it is for the Attorney General of Pakistan and legal brains of the country, to determine, whether the top management of the PCB (a statutory body) is guilty of violation of any constitutional clause or/ and rules and regulations of the Estacode.
In view of the foregoing, there is now not even an iota of a doubt that the current top management of the PCB is rushing to create PSLPL, out of the PCB, for some hidden and undisclosed reasons, by putting up arguments on official website which absolute does not hold water.