Tag Archives: ISL

The Merger Rant

I-league, ISL, Indian Super League, HeroISL, Merger, One league, Goa, Clubs, Exit, Leave, League, FIFA, AFC

Who wouldn’t get frustrated and who wouldn’t want to rant about the mess that is Indian football. A visibly frustrated Nevin Thomas decided to have a go at it.  You can follow him on Twitter here.

The mess that is Indian football

‘A merged league is good for Indian football’, said a very important All India Football Federation official recently. The Indian football players echoed it (because it’s really not in our culture to voice concerns even if there were any). Foreign stars, with very little idea of how football works in India, were saying the same things too. After all, it was just common sense.

BECAUSE:

  1. Longer league means stability for players. They don’t have to keep jumping clubs every three months.
  2. Proper rest. They aren’t playing 3 games (2 of which went all the way to penalties) in 7 days.

READ: Steve Coppell’s take on ISL finals

  1. Going in sync with international leagues will allow smooth transfers of players (IN and OUT).
  2. We wouldn’t have to call it 2016-17 I-League when it’s actually held only in 2017 (OCD nightmares, you see).

The list, I’m sure, goes on and on. And as for the cons, I can’t think of anything apart from a few marquees (oldies) turning down ISL due to the longer duration of the league. Ok, so a few T-shirts won’t be sold. Who cares?

What is actually bewildering is how the AIFF has thought about all these ONLY after kick-starting a league. See, there was this football league, which in 2007 was rebranded as ‘I-League’, running in the country. Why didn’t AIFF try improving the league instead of starting a new one? Ok, it wasn’t doing so well, with teams pulling out faster than Sunil Chhetri could score goals. But, to be fair to them, they had valid reasons. How do you survive (financially) in a league that gets ZERO promotion? Blimey, I can’t for the life of me remember the last time when I saw ISL-like efforts being put in for what is still India’s gateway to the Asian club championships.

Which is why it was quite exciting (regardless of the ‘seize the means of production’ T-shirts I wear) to see money-minded IMG-Reliance (International Management Group-Reliance Industries Limited) buying out AIFF’s commercial rights in 2010.

But things didn’t exactly as some of us had hoped. The new-comer continued the trend of not giving a duck about I-League and then launched a completely different league — a shorter, IPL-style (thankfully, with no cheerleader nonsense) Indian Super League.

I know it has been three seasons now, but I am yet to figure out why there was a need to split Indian football into two, when there was already an existing league that complied to all the AFC rules.  If you had the money and the PR machinery to start a new league with a BANG, why wasn’t it utilised to boost the existing model?

So I decided to ask around through a poll on Twitter and here are some of the reasons I got:

1) Better packaging: A lot of people said the ISL made football in India way more ‘watchable’. In other words, it was better packaged for the Indian audience. 7 pm kick-off was ideal for office-goers as compared to the 4pm matches of I-League. Star Sports was doing a better job than Ten Sports in broadcast – better commentary, better camera angles, better pundits… basically better everything.

2) I-League’s failure: Years of lacklustre performances and mismanagement had given I-League such a bad name that it made more sense to start something fresh. If I was a sponsor, I would want to invest in something new (especially with the financial backing of IMG-Reliance) than a stale I-Leauge.

3) Moving away from family set-up: Indian football clubs have been traditionally run by wealthy families. With no self-sustaining mechanism in place for these clubs, AIFF thought it was better to encourage more corporate-sponsored teams. In short, ISL was an attempt to kill the likes of Salgaocar FC and encourage more Bengaluru FCs.

Barring point number two, all the other reasons I was told on my poll in Twitter, did not involve the need to start a new league though. Add eight new corporate sponsored (with solid financial backing) clubs to I-League and the pressure would have pushed family-run clubs to either pull out OR up their game, right? And, how difficult would it have been to have late kick-offs to make I-League more TV friendly?

We surely have enough stadiums.

READ Joy Battacharjya’s piece on stadium utilisation

And I’m sure TV guys would have been more than OK with broadcasting the game at 7 pm instead of 4 pm.

ESPN senior assistant editor Debayan Sen’s tweet sums the Indian football scenes the best up. IMG-Reliance wanted something completely in its control and AIFF happily gave a thumbs-up signal. Which would have been OK, had all stakeholders been consulted.  But were they?

 

Ever since the takeover, though, the agenda of AIFF seems to be somehow move away from the existing football big-guns. More corporate backed teams, less family-run clubs. The idea, as told to me by AIFF VP Subrata Dutta in an interview, is to ensure all clubs have a sustainable model for revenue generation. The baffling fact is how AIFF decided that family-run clubs cannot find a model but corporate-run teams can. Apart from BFC, no corporate-run club has scaled the zenith of Indian football. It is fair to say, ISL was a big nail in the coffin for all the I-League clubs which were already in scarcity of funds. The sponsors had something better to invest in and the likes of Royal Wahingdoh (exciting team from Shillong), and the Goan clubs, including Dempo SC (one of the most successful team in history of Indian football league), cut their ties with the I-League. Another theory is that a new league was always in the plans for IMG-R but Bengaluru FC’s phenomenal success caused the sudden plunge. BFC showed there is a clear way of succeeding in Indian football, a model other clubs soon tried to emulate, and the rising popularity of the I-League created concerns for the team at IMG-R plotting a new league.

Now, three seasons into the so-called football revolution, AIFF wants a League merger — for the better of football, it claims. But, like the idea of ISL, was this merger idea fast-forwarded due to BFC’s success in the Asian arena? It would look funny to the outside world that the league with the likes for Forlan and Malouda playing is not the one representing India in Asia. And I’m sure, BFC’s success has got the think-tanks at IMG-R and ISL teams licking their lips at the idea of more lucrative sponsorship deals.

But there are some problems with the merger plans. AIFF has agreed a deal with these ISL clubs that guarantees them no relegation for around eight seasons. So the top league, after the merger, will have teams playing without any relegation. The second tier league, which will be today’s I-League, what AFC recognises as India’s football league, will have no scope of promotion into the new top league, though, relegation still remains.

Basically, all the clubs who have traditionally existed, including big guns such as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, now face the threat of not playing in the top league. While they can still compete in the second tier league, it remains highly unlikely that they will, considering the difficulty it will face in attracting potential sponsors with no titles to win or AFC competitions to take part.

Is it even fair to these teams who have done so much for Indian football? “We haven’t made any decision on which teams get to play top league and which don’t,” said an AIFF big shot when I asked.  “After Under-17 world cup, the new league will start,” said another AIFF biggie, recently in a press conference. So when will we ever get a confirmation on who will play where? Less than a year to go before the big shake-up and teams do not even know where they will be playing. So how can they sign a good quality player for a long term deal?

I-league, ISL, Indian Super League, HeroISL, Merger, One league, Goa, Clubs, Exit, Leave, League, FIFA

The Goan clubs have already left due to the proposed new roadmap for Indian football. Last year the likes of Royal Wahindoh and Pune FC cited the very same reasons for their exit, though AIFF stuck to its stance that these clubs failed to reach the financial criteria required to play in the top division.

Yet, barring BFC, the corporates have struggled to make the cut too. If Bharat FC had done enough to fulfill the criteria, then why did they pull out after a brief period?

Story made short — IMG-R walked into Indian football and did whatever it wanted to.

Nobody knows how many teams from the I-League will make it to the top-division. Nobody knows what the criteria will be. Will Kolkata have Bagan, East Bengal and ATK when many states won’t even have one team?

There hasn’t been a shortage of excuses though. One phrase given by most AIFF officials in their twisted justification is — ‘many clubs don’t fulfill the AFC requirements’. Apparently many Indian clubs do not have (financially and infrastructure-wise, I assume) to have an AFC club license. So why were they given the rights in the first place? And are we to assume every club that started atleast in the I-League era will fulfill these criteria?

In a way, AIFF is suggesting that only clubs fulfilling the set of rules will have a chance of making it to the top league after the proposed merger.

So I downloaded the 70-page-long AFC club licensing criteria for 2016 and went through it to find out what these possible reasons could be (the OCD kicked in)

I-league, ISL, Indian Super League, HeroISL, Merger, One league, Goa, Clubs, Exit, Leave, League, FIFA, AFCTo be honest, while the I-League clubs seem to be safe on the infrastructure demands, the financial part is slightly murky, with AFC wanting historic and future information. Clubs such has Salgaocar, which has relied on family wealth, might struggle to produce the required financial documents. Or so I think (I would love to be wrong).

Scroll reported that Salgaocar had failed to participate in the licensing process.

But one is to assume most clubs will be able to produce the required documents, considering how the likes of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan play in the AFC tournaments most seasons.

And mind you, while AIFF will not openly admit it, it’s the ISL clubs who will struggle a lot more to match the AFC criteria. For example the foreign player rule:

I-league, ISL, Indian Super League, HeroISL, Merger, One league, Goa, Clubs, Exit, Leave, League, FIFA, AFC

It doesnt mean the ISL clubs can’t take part. But they will have a lot of foreign players who won’t be allowed to play, which is an unnecessary burden on team wages. Will the foreign stars in the team be OK with missing out on Asia’s top league? Also, barring Goa, which other team has player with 3 foreign players or lesser, and succeeded in ISL?

The great Indian football league merger, at least according to me, should be delayed till ISL teams have more Indians playing. And once that is achieved, it can merge into I-League as one big, fat league (with around 16 teams) and we can thereafter replicate the 9-month league format that most countries have. Rather than rush to a merger, push ISL teams to  field more Indians, allow I-league to grow simultaneously, at least organically, if you do not want to promote it (AIFF has admitted that I-League TV viewership and stadium turn-out has increased every year), and in two years time, come up with a structure that benefits all stakeholders of Indian football. (Unified league in India likely after U-17 World Cup – Kushal Das)

But, my brain tells me AIFF and IMG-R won’t wait that long. Actually, AIFF Gen. Sec said it too.

If Oxford dictionary’s definition of ‘stockholm syndrome’ as “Feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor” is something to go by, then it perfectly describes the relationship between AIFF and IMG-Reliance. The Indian football federation seems to have completely lost the plot, and now, in its bid to survive, has developed an unjustifiable affection for IMG-R.

One can only be an Andy Dufresne (that’s your cue to watch Shawshank Redemption if you haven’t yet) and HOPE the merger will not mark the end of a legacy in Indian football.

This blog post is just a rant and it has nothing to do with my employers. In fact, I have a feeling they won’t like me so much after this. But, blah! As usual, I’m likely to make mistakes. I urge you to correct me wherever you think I’ve gone wrong..

Downloads:

You can download the AFC club licensing criteria here (page 33 infrastructure, page 55 financial): http://www.the-afc.com/uploads/afc/files/AFC_CLR_Booklet_2016.pdf

AFC Champions League competition regulations: http://www.the-afc.com/uploads/afc/files/acl_2015_competition_regulations_final.pdf

Indian Super League Season 3 Preview : Chennaiyin FC

Here we go with the 2nd preview on Chennayin FC.

Chennaiyin FC coached by Marco Materazzi is the current champions of Indian Super league. Starting from the 1st season, Chennayin FC has a great record in the ISL. In the 1st season, they finished top in the league table and qualified for the playoffs. Materazzi will be hoping to replicate the same feat even this season. However, things will be quite different for Chennayin this season as they will miss out on two crucial players they had for the last two seasons. Marquee player Elano who scored 12 goals for the team in the last two seasons and was pulling strings in the midfield with his deft touches and freekicks will be sorely missed by the team. Same with Stiven Mendoza, the Colombian liver wire who has scored 17 goals for the franchise in the last two seasons has joined Newyork City FC in the MLS. It will have to be seen how the team copes up with these departures.

Another notable thing Chennayin has done prior to this season is that they signed on 5 AIFF academy graduates  – Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Baoringdao Bodo and Bedashwor Singh. We will have to see if any of these players will find a regular place in the line-up since they are quite young to be blooded in a league where there is so much at stake. However, this is a great gesture from the franchise and the boys  are bound to learn a lot training under Marco and the other senior players in the team.

Now, let’s go ahead and analyze the different departments of the team.

GK: Duwayne Kerr, Karanjith Singh, Pawan Kumar

Duwayne Kerr is a Jamaican goalkeeper, who has played in Norway and Iceland. He is a very dominating big figure in the box. If Marco decides o play an Indian GK, Karanjith with his immense experience will be the choice. Pawan Kumar who has played for Bengaluru FC earlier and was part of Mumbai FC will be definitely an able back up!

Defenders : Abhishek Das (RB),  Bernard Mendy(RB), Dhanachandra Singh (LB), Eder (CD), Elie Sabia (CB), Riise, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Nallapan Mohanraj (RB).

We will mostly see Mendy being partnered with Riise in the middle of the defense, other central defending options are the new signings Eli Sabia, and Eder, who had a stint with Salgaocar in the I-league. Wadoo had a great season for Chennaiyin last time around and he will most probably the pick for RB.  Dhanachandra Singh who was a mainstay for the team in the last season will be the pick for LB.

Mid : Zakker Mundampara, Baljit Sahni, Dhanpal Ganesh, Manuel Blassi, Hans Mulder, Raphael Augusto, Siam Hangal and Thoi Singh

Hans Mulder, the Dutch footballer who gave a good account of himself in the last two editions of ISL for Delhi Dynamos is the new foreign recruit in the mid-field line up. Manuel Blassi and Raphael Augusto were a constant presence in Chennaiyin’s lineup last year, and this year I expect one of them to sit out and Hans Mulder taking that place. The Indian line up with Zakkeer, Dhanpal, Siam Hangal and Thoi Singh looks quite formidable too. However, i feel the midfield line-up esepcially the Indian contigent lacks in creativity and this could pose a serious threat for CFC.

Forwards : Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Davide Succi, Jayesh Rane, Jeje, Dudu, Maurizio Peluso, Uttam Rai.

Now, this is going to be a real problem area for Chennaiyin. As we mentioned earlier, MENDOZA WILL BE MISSED. Instead of him Materazzi has decided to bring in two Italian attackers.  Davide Succi and Maurizio Peloso. Succi is a 34 year old forward who has played for teams like Chievo, Palermo and Bologna, with pretty good conversion rate as well. Maurizio Peluso seems to be an attacker who plays mainly on the wings and has played in the lower divisions of the Italian league. Dudu is the other forward and he doesn’t need any introduction. He has been playing in India for a long time now and is pretty prolific as well. It will have to be seen if these new recruits can fill Mendoza’s shoes. Coming to the Indian contingent, Jeje is the standout name here. He had a very good season with Chennayin FC last year and would be hoping to replicate the same kind of form this season as well. Daniel is a highly rated forward who plays for BFC but he is going to miss some action due to BFC’s AFC Cup commitments. Jayesh Rane who plays for Mumbai FC had a good season with Chennaiyin last time around will be hoping to pitch in with some goals this season. Uttam Rai is a highly rated forward who plays for Dempo Sports Club. When he burst onto the scene, he was quite a sensation and but he did not live up to that hype after that.

On the whole, this team looks pretty decent but as we said, it will have to be really seen if they can replicate the same form they managed in the first two seasons. And I feel, Chennaiyin will miss out on the playoffs this season! Yes, you heard it right! :)

Listen to this preview on Youtube :

Indian Super League Season 3 Preview : Atlético de Kolkata

Indian Super League season 3 is about to start and here we preview the Atlético de Kolkata team for the season! Have a listen and let us know your thoughts!

Chennai – Schools Premier League returns with ISL champions Chennaiyin FC as the partners

Chennai, Schools Premier League, ISL, Chennayin FC, Football, GrassrootsRated one of the best grassroots initiatives, Schools Premier League which was launched in the city in 2014, is back again. After being a massive hit with schools in the first season, the second edition of the league returns with Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC as the partners.

It kicked off today at MCC schools. Radiance Sports are title sponsors this season and the league will be called ‘ Radiance Sports – Schools Premier League ‘, whileArtemis Cars have agreed to be associate sponsors.Vidya Mandir won the first edition of the Schools Premier League, beating Velammal School in a nail biting encounter under lights at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The league will see 16 schools from the city compete in the under-14 age category. The 16 teams will be split into two groups with the top two from each group qualifying for the semi-finals. There are plans to expand the league next year to target more age-group categories and also increase the number of participants.

Chennaiyin FC will provide complete match kits for all the schools in the league. The top performing kids in this league will have a chance to be selected for Chennaiyin FC’s Centre of Excellence program. Newly-appointed Chennaiyin FC assistant coach and technical directorof grassroots Syed Sabir Pasha and the club’s development officers will be closely following the tournament to identify the best talents.

Chennai, Schools Premier League, ISL, Chennayin FC, Football, GrassrootsVarun Tripuraneni, Chennaiyin FC Chief Operating Officer and Founder of Schools Premier League commented, “The league was a massive hit in season one and schools were constantly behind us to organise the second edition of the league. We are now happy to return with Chennaiyin FC as the partners.

“We had terrific participation from schools in the first season where we had players, parents, school principals glued to the website for constant updates on matches, statistics, points table and we believe that this season, the league will be even bigger. The introduction of the schools league was something we felt was paramount for the development of football in local schools and this was the motive behind us starting such an initiative.

“The Radiance Sports – Schools Premier League, in partnership with Chennaiyin FC, is an opportunity to provide these hopeful youngsters a platform to showcase and refine their football talents. The response from the schools has been extremely positive from the first season and it was extremely tough shortliting the 16 school teams this season. I would like to thank Radiance Sports, for buying into our vision and supporting us in what will be a first of its kind league in the country.

“Having Chennaiyin FC as the partners will also give the participants extra motivation as our club will closely monitor the matches and select the best performers for our Centre of Excellence.”

Chennaiyin FC assistant coach and technical director of grassroots Syed Sabir Pasha said, “We at Chennaiyin FC are always looking to develop the best talent of the state and partnering with this league gives us an opportunity to see more talented young footballers in action. I encourage all the schools, kids, coaches, teachers and parents to give their very best in this tournament.”

Mr Varun Manian, Managing Director – Radiance Developers Pct Ltd commented, “We are very proud to associate with Schools Premier League as principal sponsor. We were associated with this initiative in the first season as well and we believe that this initiative will go a long way in developing the young talent in the country. We wish all the participating teams the best of luck.  “

 

SportsMechanics – Schools Premier League : Strategic Partnership

Schools Premier league along with SportsMechanics India a leader in Sports Analytics, Consulting, technology services today announced a strategic partnership with the schools premier league to leverage the latest technological advances, fan engagement and analytics to transform the experience of local football fans in the city, teams and players in the grassroots segment.

As part of this Deal, Sports Mechanics will become the Fan Engagement Partner and Technology Sponsor of the Schools Premier league for the next two years.

Varun Tripuraneni, Founder, Schools Premier League said, “ we welcome an industry leader in SportsMechanics to this league and take an important step towards exploring new opportunities in this area “.

‘’ Our partnership with Sports Mechanics will focus on fan engagement across various digital mediums.An important part of developing players is ensuring they are prepared in the best possible way. The players can watch highlights of the goals scored, look at the other important statistics like shots on target, minutes played and also analyse the opposition by knowing their performance in the previous games which will all be available on the website,” added Varun.

C.K.M.Dhananjai, One of the Founding Members and Vice President, SportsMechanics, said, “ We are looking forward to create a unique digital platform and think about how we can discover and execute differential and engaging experiences for fans for a unique tournament like this.

Playing sports in school is something we would have all cherished and enjoyed. SportsMechanics would like to re invent and bring these memories using our Platforms to give schools, players, coaches and fans with an immersive experience across the schools premier league’s digital channel.

This will also mean that the information available can be used by coaches, players and teams to analyse their own performances too.

Kerala FA announce Kerala Super League

Kerala Super League, Kerala, Football, Soccer, ISL, Style, Franchise, Kasaragode, Kannur, Wayand, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam,Kottyam, Idukki, Thriuvananthapuram, Franchise ,CMG, KolkataKerala Football Association has announced an ISL styled Kerala Super league that will start in Jan-Feb 2016 time frame in the state. KFA has also signed an 8 year contract with Kolkata based Celebrity Management Group for conducting the league. CMG was involved in the recently concluded Assam Premier League which was a great success.

A minimum of eight or twelve teams will compete in the league on home and away basis. Each teams will have a mandate to play U-23 and U-20 players in the team. There will also be a marquee player in each squad.

Ruud Gullit, Kerala Super League, Kerala, Football, Soccer, ISL, Style, Franchise, Kasaragode, Kannur, Wayand, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam,Kottyam, Idukki, Thriuvananthapuram, Franchise ,CMG, KolkataRuud Gullit to be Brand Ambassador

Former Chelsea and AC Milan player have been approached by KFA to be the brand ambassador of the tournament. KFA president was quoted in the New Indian Express saying “Talks are in advanced stage with former AC Milan and Chelsea midfielder Ruud Gullit to be the brand ambassador of KSL”

Corporates to bid for teams

Malayalam media is reporting that corporates who have a turn over of 10 cr per year or 25 crores over the last three years will be eligible for a bid. KFA is looking for teams from Kasaragode, Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Idukki and Thiruvananthapuram. KFA will also entertain more than one team from a district. Interested parties can download the bid document from KFA’s website starting from November 16th. A pre bid meeting for interested owners will be held in KFA’s office on November 22nd.

Peter Shilton to announce KSL teams:

United Nations in partnership with KFA is conducting a school football tourney in Kerala. Legendary British Goal Keeper Peter Shilton will be the chief guest for the final match of the UN @70 Trophy to be held in Kozhikode. Peter Shilton will announce the names of the franchises taking part in KSL.

Unpredicatbale as it can get – Indian Super League Season II Preview!

ISL Season II Preview

 

ISL is as unpredictable as it can get, says Saji Pillai. Read on.

Indian Super League became the fortune changer of the Indian football from the first season itself. This became the fifth popular league in the world and first in Asia according to number of viewers watched that in stadium. It turned out to be most complicated league in the world as there is no hot favorite, any team can be champions. The results of the matches have been quite unpredictable.

Summary and chances of teams are detailed :

 

Atletico De Kolkata: Team shows professionalism and with their marquee player Helder Postiga they will advance well in the league. But retaining the championship is going to be difficult for them. Primarily because of two reasons. All other teams have strengthened up this season, and have also brought in much younger players. Hume will fuel their attacks and fill the void of Fikru.

 

Kerala Blasters: Last season KBFC appeared with a weak team and surprised every other fancied teams with their ground support. This time they have a well balanced team filled with young blood. Most of their overseas players are from England and some of them have EPL expreience. In Carlos Marchena they have a veteran marquee player. Fuelled by their great ground support KB will turn out to be a nightmare to play against for all teams this season too.

 

Chennayin FC: According to me, Chennayin FC was the best team previous year. They lost the service of Djemba Bjemba but have added couple of more quality foreigners that will boost their performance and they will be a great threat this season too.

 

Delhi Dynamos: Strongest team on paper with some big names. Malouda and Riise will still pose threat against any team. Apart from them, the team doesn’t look to be a great one. This paucity of quality could be a constraint for their ambitions.

 

FC Pune City: The best team this season according to me. But veteran players will be prone to injuries and this could hamper their chances.

 

Mumbai city FC: Do not fancy much chance for them, but they can upset anybody on their day. Anelka and Sunil Chhetri combination will be a treat to watch.

 

North east united FC: North East United have made some great signings this season. The team comprising former Portuguese international Simão Sabrosa, Senagalese striker Diomansy Kamara and a host of Indian players from NEUFC will look to improve upon their performance from last season.

 

FC Goa: Zico managed FC Goa has a host of Brazilian players in their ranks including former Brazil international Lucio. For me, this team looks the weakest. But Zico is a highly experienced coach and has cherry picked his team for this season and it might just click for them.

 

Parting Shot : ISL season will be unpredictable. Every team has strengthened and no in special. Anyone can become the champion.

 

North, East, South, West: Indian Super League Season II preview

ISL Season II Preview

 

Second Season of ISL is going to be even more exciting says Mariadon Pathaw. He previews the 2nd season for Football News India.

The season one of the Indian Super League was a major success and surpassed the expectations. Who would have ever imagined such a huge turnout for the matches? Thanks to relentless marketing through traditional channels and Social media, crowd thronged each and every venue across the nation to back their teams. Another important factor was the celebrity owners from cricket and bollywood. They too played a part in wooing the crowd to the stadium. Excellent packaging from Star Sports helped the telecast being a hit on Television as well with millions tuning to watch the matches.

The buzz created by the league in the first season has helped it in grabbing the attention of sponsors for the second season. In terms of sponsorship, various brands have renewed their deals with the teams while some, after witnessing the huge success of season one, have entered the fray. Some of the brands associated with Indian Super League teams include HTC, McDowell’s, Garnier (NEUFC,; Fair and handsome, HRX (Pune city fc), Muthoot Pappachan Group, Prime Meridian (Kerala Blasters), Ozone group (Chennaiyin FC), and  Ace Group (Mumbai City Fc)

In terms of revenues from sponsorship ISL made around Rs.55 crore last season and is expected to double for this year. Second season of ISL has attracted various new sponsors and official partners. Reports have appeared that Flipkart, HP Enterprise and Imperial Blue have signed on as official partners, DHL as the logistics partner and Volini as the official pain relief partner. Maruti Suzuki and Amul has renewed sponsorship with ISL. Apart from these, Pepsi is the official pouring partner, Puma the ball partner and Muthoot group the refereeing partner.

The preseason kicked off outside the country with only Kerala Blasters opting to train in India. The preparation for the season was carried out in countries such as South Africa, Dubai, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain and Turkey because of the lack of proper facilities in India. Football needs to evolve in the country.

Let us take a look of the player recruitment and most importantly, the marquee signings.

North East United, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

NEUFC lacked attacking masters in the first season and finished rock bottom. So, in order to enhance their goal scoring results, NEUFC has recruited Simao Sabrosa, a Portuguese international, as their marquee player. With the experience of Simao, I believe he will be the mastermind in mentoring the young lads of North east. Diomancy Kamara, a former Portsmouth, Fulham and West Brom Albion player will lead the line for the North East outfit.

Among the Indian Players, Aiborlang Khongjee is expected to cement his place at the defense along with Kondwani Mtonga. Rehenesh TP who had an outstanding season last time will have to compete for a spot between the posts with Bengaluru Fc’s L. Ralte and Gennaro Bracigliano. New recruits Sanju Pradhan and the talented Seityasen Singh will play an important role at the heart of midfield. Other players include Cedric Hengbart, Silas, Bruno Arias, Miguel Garcia, Nicolas Velez, Gennaro Bracigliano, Francis Dadzie, Boubacar Sanogo, Robin Gurung, Alen Deory, Boithang Haokip, Holicharan Narzary,Zohmingliana Ralte, Marlangki Suting, Raju Yumnam, Reagan Singh and Siam Hanghal.

Atletico De Kolkata, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

The reigning Champions have Helder Postiga as their marquee player. This 33 year old Portuguese International will be lined up as a lone striker in the Playing XI and he knows exactly what is being asked of him. Singing the hardworking Ian Hume will be definite boost for the team. Syed Nabi had a forgettable season one and is all set for a new beginning. Denzil Franco, Josemi and Arnab Mondal were crucial for the champions last season and will be expected  to repeat the same feat this season.

Josemi will lead the side after renewing his deal with the club. The other  players in the ATK squad are Rino Anto, Kunzang Bhutia, Arata Izumi, Lalchchawnkima, Amrinder Singh, Valdo, Sameeh Doutie, Javi Lara, Juan Calatayud, Tiri, Jaime Martinez, Nallappan Mohanraj, Baljit Sahni, Nadong Bhutia, Seikh Raja, Sushil Singh, Clifford Miranda, Ofentse Nato, and Augustin Fernandes.

Chennayin FC, Indian Super League, Season 2, II, ISL, Hero

The first Indian player to score in the ISL, Balwant Singh, is a deadly threat up front and with the presence of the Indian International Forward, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Chennaiyin looks all set to showcase their Indian talent. Not to forget, Fikru Lamessa also joined Chennaiyin Fc! So imagine the situation where Balwant, Fikru, Jeje and the top scorer Elano all playing together in a 4-3-3 position, managed by the Italian legend Materazzi. Chennaiyin is all set to tear the defence of any team. Bernard Mendy with his unforgettable goal in the first season is a fan favourite.

Godwin Franco has been amazing during his stint with Royal Wahingdoh Fc and will be an important figure in the midfield. Karanjit Singh is expected to start between the posts while Manipuri Thoi Singh will be a force to reckon with in the midfield. The team comprises of Abhishek Das, Dhanachandra Singh, Harmanjot Khabra, Jayesh Rane, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Apoula Bete, Alessandro Potenza, Manuele Blasi, Cristian Hidalgo, Eder Fernandes, Mailson Alves, Raphael Augusto, Bruno Pelissari, John Mendoza, Dhanpal Ganesh, Zakeer Mundampara, Lalhmangaihsanga, Justin Stephen and Nidhin Lal.

Kerala Blasters, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Kerala Blasters had an amazing first season with former England goal keeper David James as manager. In season 2, however KBFC will not have the services of David James. They have appointed English manager Peter Taylor to guide them. Former East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan will assist Peter Taylor. Michael Chopra is no longer part of the side and  the team has a host of promising Indians in the line up like CK Vineeth, Mehtab Hossain, Shankar Sampangi, Cavin Lobo and Mohammed Rafi.

Carlos Marchena is the marquee player and is definitely the man to watch. In his career he has played for top Spanish clubs like Sevilla, Benfica, Valencia, Villareal and last played for La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna until the end of 2013-2014 season. Cavin Lobo who scored two important goals against FC Goa last season for the champions ATK will be an added advantage to this runners up side. Main man at the heart of defence will be Sandesh Jhingan who had a brilliant outing against Iran in the World Cup qualifiers. He has the potential to become the best defender in the country if he stays away from injury and become more consistent. Sandesh will retain his place in a back line that will also have Gurwinder Singh and englishman and former Newcastle United player Peter Ramage. KBFC conceded a paltry nine goals last season and they will look to continue the same trend this season as well. Other members in the team include Peter Carvalho, Sandip Nandy, Shilton Paul, Stephen Bywater, Rahul Beke, Ishfaq Ahmed, Josu, Ramandeep Singh, Saumik Dey, Chris Dagnall, Marcus Williams, Sanchez Watt, Antonio German, Bruno Perone, Victor Forcada, Joao Coimbra and Manandeep Singh

FC Goa, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

FC Goa’s coach Zico has brought in a lot of Brazilian talent to Goa for this season. They have some exciting Indian players too in the squad. Lucio, a World Cup winner with Brazil will be their marquee player. Zico, who also announced his candidacy for FIFA’s Head position, also have the likes of Jofre, Reinaldo and Gregory Arnolin in the team. Darryl Duffy,who has been brought in from the Goan I-league team Salgaocar has the experience of Indian football and knows what it takes to fire the team to victory. He along with Reinaldo, a former PSG player,could make a big impact this season.

Exciting Indian youngster Romeo Fernandes will look to replicate his exploits in the first season which earned a rather calamitous foreign move. Other Indian talents at Zico’s disposal are  Joaquim Abranches, C Sabeeth, Debabrata Roy, Raju Gaikwad, Luis Barreto, Keenan Almeida, Nicolau Colaco, Denson Devadas, Laxmikant Kattimani, Narayan Das, Bikramjit Singh,Mandar Desai, Pronay Haldar, T Haokip and Victorino Fernandes.

FC Pune City, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Pune City FC has roped in two exciting players who were outstanding for their clubs in the 2014-2015 I-League season- Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Jackichand Singh.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh, the Shillong lad, who created history during the recent ISL auction is one of the best player in India at the moment, after having won the midfielder of the season award in the I-League. Ene is calm and cool and has already been praised by the Head Coach David Platt, a former Manchester City asst manager.  Eugenson’s form will be very crucial for FC Pune City’s title ambitions. Besides Eugeneson in the midfield will be  I-League’s player of the season Jackichand Singh who scored some amazing goals for Royal Wahingdoh FC.

Fc Pune city have a strong team with some  big names in Yendrick Ruiz, Adrian Mutu, Tuncay Sanli and former Indian national team mainstays Lenny Rodrigues and Gouramangi Singh. Pune looks very strong as an attacking force. The team is composed of  Arindam Bhattacharya, Dharamaraj Ravanan, Pritam Kotal, Israil Gurung, Manish Maithani, Fanai Lalrempuia, Govin Singh, Lalit Thapa, Sushanth Mathew, Bikash Jairu, Gurjinder Kumar, Wesley Verhoek, Kalu Uche, Tuncay Sanli, Didier Zakora, Diego, James Bailey, Nickey Shorey, Steve and Roger Johnson.

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Mumbai City Fc has got a goal scoring machine in Nicolas Anelka. The Frenchman, with his experience in various football leagues around the world, will be very crucial for the team this time around too. His mentoring of younger players in the team will also play a crucial role in Mumbai FC’s campaign this season. Along with Anelka, Sunil Chhetri will be leading the line for the Mumbai outfit. This is going to be mouth watering prospect, if you add Sony Norde into that mix. Sunil Chhetri bagged the highest price in the player auction when he was sold for 1,20,00,000 and he is also the first Indian to have scored 50 goals for the country. Where as Sony Norde set ablaze I-league with his skills for Mohun Bagan last season.

Sunil Chhetri has already said that it is privilege to play and train with Anelka and is equally appreciative of Sony Norde’s talent. Subrata Pal, who is known as the Indian Super Man will have to improve upon his 1st season performance under the bar to guide Mumbai FC’s title challenge. Other Indian players in the squad include Rowilson Rodriguez, Ashutosh Mehta, Subhash Singh, Keegan Pereira,Pratesh Shirodkar,Brandon Fernandes, Gabriel Fernandes, Lalchhuan Mawia, Debjit Majumder, Sampath Kuttymani, Albino Gomes. Foreigners include Frantz Bertin, Cristian Bustos, Frédéric Piquionne, Selim Benachour, Juan Aguilera, Sony Norde, Aitor, Andre Moritz, Pavel Čmovš, Nicolas Anelka and Darren O’Dea

Delhi Dynamos, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

According to me Delhi Dynamos will be the most exciting team to watch with a host of talented players in their squad.Roberto Carlos is the man handed with the responsibility of firing the team to glory.Experienced wingers Malouda and Riise will play a massive role in the fortunes of Delhi Dynamos this season. National team striker Robin Singh will be hoping to get over his recent goal drought and fire for the team.

The team is shapes up well with experienced defenders like Anwar Ali and Anas in their lineup.  Delhi has other talented indian players like  Francis Fernandes, Seiminlen Doungel, Sehnaj Singh, Naoba Singh,Robert Lalthlamuana, Gunashekar Vignesh, Zodingliana Ralte, Souvik Chakraborty,Prabir Das and Shylo Malsawmtluanga in their squad. Subhasish Roy, Toni Doblas and and Ravi Kumar will fight for spot between the posts. Delhi Dynamos are strongly the favourites to win the title. It will be lovely to watch stars like Robero Carlos, Malouda and Riise combine to produce magi.  I can’t wait to watch Roberto Carlo’s free kick! Other foreign players in the team are Serginho Greene, Chicão, Vinicius Ferreira De Souza, Hans Mulder, Adil Nabi, Gustavo and Richard Gadze

To wrap things up, a whopping sum of Rs. 7.22 crore was spent on ten players in the ISL auction for Indian players, with Sunil Chettri becoming the highest priced player for Rs. 1,20,00,000 and Eugeneson Lyngdoh coming second with Rs.1,05,000.Every team in the league has added new foreigners to the line. The second season is going to be an even more thrilling one.
ISL season 2 we are all waiting for you. Come on India! Let’s football.

Want to feature your write-up on FNI? Write a preview for Indian Super league!

The second season of Indian Super League is almost here. Here is a chance to show off your writing skills. Write a preview for the second season and send it to us. The best entry will be published on footballnewsindia.in

Indian Super League, ISL, Hero ISL, Football, India, Season 2, Season II, Preview, Soccer, LeagueTerms & Conditions :

 

  • The shorter and powerful the preview, the better!
  • Content should be original and should not be copied from else where. No plagiarism please.
  • The discretion of selecting the best entry solely lies with the editor of FNI.

United SC Sign Former East Bengal Goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal

United SC, Kolkata, Football, India, IMG - Reliance, Indian Super League, ISL, Players Loan United SC registered 11 players at IFA including Abhijit Mondal, Sashti Duley!

United Sports Club on Tuesday registered a total number of eleven players at the IFA Office ahead of 2015-16 Calcutta Football League (Premier Division).

The former United SC keeper Abhijit Mondal, who was member of club’s maiden Durand Cup winning squad in 2010, making his return at the club after spending two successful seasons at East Bengal.

United SC, Kolkata, Football, India, IMG - Reliance, Indian Super League, ISL, Abhijit Mondal“It feels great to become a member of purple family again. I still remember when we won the Durand Cup in 2010, we also had a young team like this year therefor I am very much hopeful to repeat that performance once again,” Mondal said.

Meanwhile the club has also signed seasoned campaigner Sashti Duley along with a host of young but talented footballers like Usman Ashik, Sreanshu Das, Ajay Nag, Md. Rashid, Shaibuddin KK, Subhajit Biswas, Suhair VP, Sahbaz Salil and Md. Rafi.

Indian Super League 2015 : Auction and Draft – Complete Transfer List

indian super league 2015, ISL, Football, India, HeroISL, IMG, IMG-Reliance, Ambani, Reliance, Domestic Players, I-league, Free Agent, Bengaluru FC, Auction, Draft, TransfersIndian football team captain Sunil Chhetri bagged the highest offer of Rs. 1.20 crore in the auction conducted for Indian Super League 2015. He will be playing for Mumbai City FC. Eugeneson Lyngdoh the 28 year old midfielder came a close second by breaking through the 1 crore ceiling, winning a bid price of Rs 1.05 crore successfully bought over by FC Pune City.

The Indian Super League Players Auction, the first ever auction of football players in India, saw the eight franchises battle it out for 10 of India’s finest players in Mumbai earlier today.

Ten players who have featured for the Indian national team and had missed the Indian Super League’s (ISL) inaugural season went under the hammer for the eight teams in the first-of-a-kind auction. UK based Charlie Ross began the auctioneer proceedings by making clear the rules of the process. What followed next was a test of business skills and a fight between the franchises to pick the players of their choice.

Charlie Ross was at his best as the auctioneer that witnessed Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri bagging the highest bid, a whopping Rs. 1.20 Crore from Team Mumbai City FC.  Eugeneson Lyngdoh the 28 year old midfielder came a close second by breaking through the 1 crore ceiling, winning a bid price of Rs 1.05 crore successfully bought over by FC Pune City  following a round of bids from Mumbai City FC, Atletico de Kolkata and NorthEast United FC.

Rino Anto, India’s best right back turned out to be the dark horse of the ISL bagging a surprise bid price of Rs 90 lakhs when he was picked up by Atletico de Kolkata. Charles Ross was in total rhythm for Rino’s bid bringing up the amount to Rs. 90 lakhs from the base price of Rs. 17.50 lakhs. Chennaiyin FC grabbed a sweet deal with Karanjit Singh, the only available goal keeper at the auction for his base price of Rs. 60 lakhs. Chennaiyin FC also bid successfully for Thoi Singh, the 24 year old talented midfielder for Rs 86 lakhs.

The much anticipated second season of the Indian Super League (ISL) will kick off on the 3rd of October with its opening match to be played between Chennaiyin FC and Atletico de Kolkata, winners of the first season of the ISL at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai.

Details of the players and auction bid price for Indian Super League 2015 is as below:

 

Sr No
Player
Buying Team
Base Price
Auction Fee
1Sunil ChhetriMumbai City FCRs. 80 LakhsRs. 1.20 Crore
2Eugeneson LyngdohFC Pune CityRs. 27.50 LakhsRs. 1.05 Crore
3Rino AntoAtletico de KolkataRs. 17.50 LakhsRs. 90 Lakh
4Thoi SinghChenaiyin FCRs. 39 LakhsRs. 86 Lakhs
5Arata IzumiAtletico de KolkataRs. 40 LakhsRs. 68 lakhs
6Karanjit SinghChennaiyin FCRs. 60 LakhsRs 60 Lakhs
7Seityasen Singh  NorthEast United FCRs. 20 lakhsRs 56 Lakhs
8Robin SinghDelhi Dynamos FCRs. 40 LakhsRs. 51 lakhs
9Jackichand SinghFC Pune CityRs. 20 LakhsRs. 45 Lakhs
10Anas EdathodikaDelhi Dynamos FCRs. 40 LakhsRs. 41 lakhs

Details of players who were picked as part of the draft for Indian Super League 2015:

Player
Price
Draft
Team
ALBINO GOMES (DT)1000000DRAFTEDMUMBAI CITY FC
GUNASHEKAR VIGNESH1200000DRAFTEDDELHI DYNAMOS FC
ZODINGLIANA RALTE (DT)200000DRAFTEDDELHI DYNAMOS FC
PRATESH SHIRODKAR1600000DRAFTEDMUMBAI CITY FC
ZOHMINGLIANA RALTE900000DRAFTEDNORTHEAST UNITED FC
MARLANGKI SUTING900000DRAFTEDNORTHEAST UNITED FC
KEEGAN PEREIRA3200000DRAFTEDMUMBAI CITY FC
FANAI LALREMPUIA (DT)180000INSTANT TRADINGFC PUNE CITY
NIDHIN LAL1600000DRAFTEDCHENNAIYIN FC
GOVIN SINGH800000DRAFTEDFC PUNE CITY
LALIT THAPA1000000DRAFTEDFC PUNE CITY
PETER CARVALHO1200000DRAFTEDKERALA BLASTERS FC
RAJU YUMNAM1000000DRAFTEDNORTHEAST UNITED FC
ASHUTOSH MEHTA2000000DRAFTEDMUMBAI CITY FC
PRABIR DAS (DT)1250000DRAFTEDDELHI DYNAMOS FC
KUNZANG BHUTIA (DT)400000DRAFTEDATLÉTICO DE KOLKATA
JUSTIN STEPHEN1500000DRAFTEDCHENNAIYIN FC
LALHMANGAIHSANGA RALTE900000DRAFTEDCHENNAIYIN FC
LALCHHAWNKIMA900000DRAFTEDATLÉTICO DE KOLKATA
RAVI KUMAR (DT)1000000DRAFTEDDELHI DYNAMOS FC
DEBJIT MAJUMDER1500000DRAFTEDMUMBAI CITY FC
REAGAN SINGH1300000DRAFTEDNORTHEAST UNITED FC
CK VINEETH1500000DRAFTEDKERALA BLASTERS FC
SUSHANTH MATHEW800000DRAFTEDFC PUNE CITY
AUGUSTIN FERNANDES2600000DRAFTEDATLÉTICO DE KOLKATA
ZAKEER MUNDAMPARA2300000DRAFTEDCHENNAIYIN FC
GURJINDER KUMAR2700000DRAFTEDFC PUNE CITY
SHANKAR SAMPINGIRAJ (DT)1000000DRAFTEDKERALA BLASTERS FC
SIAM HANGHAL (DT)834000DRAFTEDNORTHEAST UNITED FC
LALCHHUANMAWIA FANAI1500000DRAFTEDMUMBAI CITY FC
SEHNAJ SINGH (DT)1800000DRAFTEDDELHI DYNAMOS FC
THONGKHOSIEM HAOKIP (DT)1,80,000DRAFTEDFC GOA
VICTORINO FERNANDES16,00,000DRAFTEDFC GOA
NAOBA SINGH18,00,000DRAFTEDDELHI DYNAMOS FC
BRANDON FERNANDES (DT)12,00,000DRAFTEDMUMBAI CITY FC
LALTHUAMMAWIA RALTE 13,90,000DRAFTEDNORTHEAST UNITED FC
CAVIN LOBO20,00,000DRAFTEDKERALA BLASTERS FC
BIKASH JAIRU 15,00,000DRAFTEDFC PUNE CITY
DHANPAL GANESH9,00,000DRAFTEDCHENNAIYIN FC
AMRINDER SINGH (DT) 4,50,000DRAFTEDATLÉTICO DE KOLKATA

Out of the 114 players listed for draft only 40 were picked by the team. Here is a list of players who fell out of contention. Some of them appeared in the first edition of ISL.

 
Player Name
Position
1Beikhokhei BeingaichhoForward
2Soram PoireiGoalkeeper
3Malemnganba MeiteiMidfielder
4Shilton D'SilvaMidfielder
5Fulganco CardozoMidfielder
6Uttam RaiForward
7Chinta Chandrashekar RaoDefender
8Alwyn GeorgeMidfielder
9Germanpreet SinghMidfielder
10 Rahul BhekeDefender
11Avinabo BagDefender
12Abhinash RuidasMidfielder
13Lalkamal BhowmickMidfielder
14Sampath Kutty ManiMidfielder
15Collin AbranchesMidfielder
16Reisangmei VashumMidfielder
17Salam Ranjan SinghDefender
18Munmun LugunDefender
19Velington RochaMidfielder
20Lalramluaha HmarMidfielder
21Matthew GonsalvesDefender
22Nikhil KadamMidfielder
23C. LallawmzualaDefender
24 Nikhil BernardGoalkeeper
25Abhra MondalGoalkeeper
26Prohlad RoyMidfielder
27Mohammad RafiqueMidfielder
28 Luis BarretoGoalkeeper
29Aslon OliveiraForward
30 Brian MascarenhasDefender
31Gilbert OliveiraDefender
32Karma TsewangMidfielder
33Nicolau ColacoDefender
34Thangjam Saran SinghMidfielder
35Joseph LalfakzualaMidfielder
36 Beevan D'MelloMidfielder
37Cajetan FernandesMidfielder
38Keenan AlmeidaDefender
39L. Bishorjit SinghGoalkeeper
40 L. Premkumar SinghGoalkeeper
41C LaldinmawiaMidfielder
42 MalsawmtluangaMidfielder
43A Sushil MeiteiMidfielder
44Loken MeiteiMidfielder
45Pradeep MohanrajMidfielder
46Samuel ShadapDefender
47Jessel CarneiroDefender
48Bineesh BalanMidfielder
49Tirthankar SarkarMidfielder
50Manish BhargavMidfielder
51Pankaj MoulaForward
52Rowllin BorgesMidfielder
53Sumeet PassiForward
54 Velito CruzMidfielder
55Samir NaikDefender
56Deepak DevraniDefender
57Jaison ValesMidfielder
58Tapan MaityMidfielder
59Manandeep SinghForward
60Asif KottayilMidfielder
61Steven DiasMidfielder
62 Durga BoroForward
63Rakesh MasihDefender
64Pratik ShindeMidfielder
65Milagres GonsalvesForward
66Sukhen DeyDefender
67Shilton PaulGoalkeeper
68Satish SinghDefender
69Nim Dorjee TamangDefender
70AayushmaanMidfielder
71Shouvik GhoshDefender
72Ngouba SinghDefender

 

1 2 3 4