After two years, Baseline Ventures is set to revive the Volleyball League of India. Various legal issues and pandemic had forced the league to be delayed for a long time. After its successful inaugural season, disputes emerged between VFI and Baseline ventures over the financial terms of the contract.
After a long-drawn legal battle, the sole arbitrator in the case, Mr. Justice K. Kannan (Retd.) had decided the case in favour of Baseline Ventures. In his report, Justice K. Kannan said that VFI had wrongfully terminated Baseline’s contract and ordered VFI to pay Rs. 4 crores as compensation with an additional Rs. 45 lakhs in payments and Rs. 5 lakhs as legal fees to Baseline Ventures. A statement from the firm further confirmed that the judgments further dismissed the counterclaim of Rs. 14.93 crores made by the VFI against Baseline Ventures.
The long legal dispute is resolved and there is finally some good news as Volleyball takes the new form of Prime Volleyball League. Baseline Ventures has already brought in three franchise owners and is on the verge of getting others on board. Thomas Muthoot of Kochi Blue Spikers, Pravin Chaudhuri of the Ahmedabad Defenders, and P.T. Safeer of the Calicut Heroes return as founder-franchises of the new competition.
The Prime Volleyball League has an operating structure that mirrors the US sporting leagues where team-owners are also stakeholders in the holding organization, ensuring a stable financial structure and smoother organization. It offers higher value to the franchises and fosters long-term relationships. While talking to media (via bizbehindsports), Joy Bhattacharya, CEO of Prime Volleyball League, confirmed talks with Sony TV for dates. He also said that the PVL is structured in a way that it will run irrespective of who comes to power.
“Half of the tournaments [In India] are private leagues. As of now, Court hasn’t declared which is the elected National Federation.”
This potentially answers the question of whether the VFI will govern the competition. The Volleyball Federation of India (there are two factions in VFI and the case is pending in Madras High Court) would have liked to be a part of this opportunity, but with the history and the situation they are in, it will be unlikely that they would join the league.