After the hasty exit of women’s freestyle coach, Andrew Cook, its time for Bajrang Punia’s personal coach, Shako Bentinidis, to decide between his India job and the salary. The Wrestling Federation of India(WFI) had enough of Shako delivering online training sessions to Bajrang from the comfort of his home in Georgia and wants the 44-year old coach to opt for another round to step pay cut if he desires to continue.
Shako drew a monthly salary of approx. $6000(Rs. 4.5 lakh) as part of his contract prior to the lockdown. He flew back to Georgia in March after the wrestling camps in Sonepat and Lucknow was suspended due to pandemic. For the record, Shako is on the direct payrolls of WFI for being Bajrang’s personal coach and his salary comes from the federation’s sponsor, Tata Motors.
For the first two months, the coach was paid in full for his work-for-home services. Later federation told the coach that he needed to take a 30% salary cut, to which he reluctantly agreed. But WFI feels that this rearranged salary needed to be slashed further, as, according to the federation, the sponsor wasn’t happy with the idea of paying Shako an upward of 3 lakh in salary per month for his online classes.
Now WFI wants him to let go more 20% of his salary till he returns to India. The new pay proposal would leave the coach with $3000 per month.
“If the Georgian refuses to accept the proposal, he will run the risk of losing his India job,” a WFI official informed.