DSK SHIVAJIANS may shut down its first team ahead of the 2017-18 season.
DSK Shivajians, who entered the I-League via corporate entry, have played two seasons in the top division. Their 2016-17 season saw them gain some positive attention thanks to the performance of several of their young DSK-Liverpool academy graduates under the mentorship of coach Dave Rogers.
But their campaign was mired in some controversy as reports emerged that payments to both players and stadium vendors had been delayed for a while.
The club has been praised for its training facilities attached to the residential academy. But their first team has failed to attract much fan attention. In many ways they resemble Pune FC, an erstwhile club also based out of the Balewadi Stadium.
In the 2017-18 season, however, the club is facing a new problem. The ISL and I-League are being held in parallel and this may result in major logistical issues as FC Pune City, an ISL franchise, also uses the Balewadi Stadium as its home venue. It will be a major headache for the organizers to host two leagues in the same stadium because of all the branding and decorations that may have to be removed and replaced between each match.
DSK Shivajians do not have any alternate venues with comparable facilities available in the vicinity. Their own ground, while suitable for hosting academy and junior team matches, cannot host I-League matches yet.
It appears that this factor on top of others is forcing the club management to consider shutting down the first team.
While nothing has been finalised because the seasonal structure of ISL and I-League is yet to be officially announced. But a source close to the club has revealed to TFG that no matter what happens the club's academy will remain unaffected.
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