FICA sidelined in IPL salary issue, says May
The IPL's "frustrating" refusal to recognise player representatives has sidelined the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA), reducing it to an advisory role, in the current payment dispute between Royal Challengers Bangalore and some of its top players, FICA chief executive Tim May has said. This is a departure from FICA's usual role in other similar disputes, where it deals directly with employers to bring about a resolution.
May said the Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers managements have not replied to correspondence from FICA regarding the salaries they still owe players. "We try to become directly involved but we never receive any responses from the Indian Premier League, which is frustrating for all," May said.
Several members of the Royal Challengers 2012 squad, including captain Daniel Vettori, are still awaiting the first instalment of their pay, while salaries are also owed to members of the Deccan Chargers side. May said FICA had advised players to make queries through their home boards, as FICA have been rendered powerless by the IPL's stonewalling. National cricket boards' requests for status updates on the outstanding payments were also yet to be answered, May said.
"The reality of the situation is we're sitting in the background advising the players on these particular issues. If they can't get addressed, we'll look into the matter in legal terms, how [we can] pursue these monies."
Payment delays such as this one and the ongoing issue with players and coaching staff who were a part of the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League, have led to FICA insisting on franchises providing bank guarantees for player salaries in the upcoming Sri Lanka Premier League.
Under every identical IPL contract, signed between the player, the franchise and the IPL, the players are due 15% of their fee for the season by April 1 (before the IPL or very early into it), 50% by May 1 (during the IPL or towards its end), 20% after the Champions League and 15% by December 1. It is understood that the players emailed the management after the season finished in May, but did not receive a straightforward response. Royal Challengers' franchise owners, the UB group, have recently hit financial strife, with owner Vijay Mallya's airline found to be in debt of $1.3b.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka