Kolkata, May30 () Vijay Mallya, owner of United Spirits and now-defunct Kingfisher airlines is all set to reduce his funding in India’s two of the leading football clubs, Mohun Bagan AC and Kingfisher East Bengal.
Vijay Mallya has informed officials of Mohun Bagan AC, that he would commit only Rs 8-9 crore this year. The amount is half of the amount the club was allocated in the last year. McDowell No1, a brand of UB group, is the lead sponsor of Mohun Bagan.
Kingfisher is the sponsor of East Bengal, which too is facing a 50% cut in sponsorship fees. Six IPL teams have Kingfisher as Good Times Partner. Apart from this, United Spirits owns IPL team Royal Challengers which promotes the brands White Mischief, McDowell No 1 and Royal Challenge.
In Formula One car racing, Kingfisher sponsors Sahara Force India, in which the Sahara group and Mallya own an equal 42.5% and the rest is Michael Moi, who was earlier partner to Mallya while buying the team. In horse racing the Bangalore Summer Derby is sponsored by United Breweries and Mumbai Derby by United Spirits.
Among Mallya’s other major sporting interests are the Summer Derby in Bangalore, sponsored by United Breweries and the United Spirits-backed derby in Mumbai, the McDowell’s Signature Premium Derby. Mallya has so far not cut his exposure to these sports. The grounding of Kingfisher had led to heavy debts for the owner Mallaya. He is facing recovery from lenders and has moved the courts against the action.
Faced with a shortfall of Rs 6 crore, Mohan Bagan is now planning to ask supporters to chip in to keep it going. It had approached many corporates but none came in and prospect of anybody joining in is bleak. Saradhha chit company based here was one sponsor of Mohan Bagan and that too has been closed down for defrauding investors.
Rose Valley a similar company which was a co-sponsor of East Bengal is now under investigation by Sebi.