ISL 2017: Double blow for FC Pune City as coach Antonio Habas, co-owner Hrithik Roshan reportedly end association with club
This is not what the Stallions needed just two months before the ISL.
Just over two months before the start of the much-awaited Indian Super League season 4, FC Pune City have received a major double blow in their preparations for the upcoming campaign. Sportskeeda can understand that the future of manager Antonio Habas is up in the air with rumours emerging from the Pune camp about the Spaniard deciding to part ways with the ISL side. Along with the head coach, it has come to the fore that co-owner Hrithik Roshan is also set to end his partnership with the club.
It is believed that Habas and the club owners were at loggerheads regarding a number of issues. Despite Pune signing some brilliant players for the upcoming season, Habas' comments were not attached to the official press releases. This was not the case earlier as Habas always used to have a say on his new acquisition.
Meanwhile, Hrithik Roshan's departure as the face of the club will be seen as a major blow to the club's financial side of the business. Hrithik was associated with the club for three years and was seen in attendance for numerous FC Pune City's home games. However, the Bollywood star's representatives and the club officials were unable for comment. It will be a huge mystery as to what went wrong for the partnership to end between the actor and the Wadhawan Group.
FC Pune City were termed as one of the early favourites for the season 4 judging by the business done by them in the transfer market. Along with a talented Indian contingent, Pune signed last season's top scorer Marcelinho, Emiliano Alfaro and former Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Tebar. But the news of Habas not being a part of the Stallion setup anymore might be a too big a blow for them to salvage themselves from its effects.
If both Hrithik and Habas decide to part ways then it will be a huge setback for the club, on the field and also off it. Habas is an ISL winner and knows the intricacies of the league whereas Hrithik brought brands and endorsements to the club.
Habas is needed for the Orange and Purples to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time in the club's history whereas Hrithik is needed to make the club financially viable. If the duo departs at this juncture of time, the club will find it very difficult to not only replace the head coach but also a star face at such a short notice.