The Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Preview

Indian Super LeagueThe Indian Super League, officially known as the Hero Indian Super League for sponsorship reasons, shall be a professional league in India. The league shall be one of the top level football leagues in India, presenting eight franchise teams from all over India. The league will start from October and will end in December, with a finals series determining the champion.

The Indian Super League was founded in 2013 in an effort to make football a top sport in India and to make Indian football a major player all over the world. The league will activate along the lines of the Twenty 20 cricket IPL, and Main League Soccer of the United States of America. There are majority of football leagues all over the world, the ISL will not apply the promotion and relegation system. As a substitute, the Indian Super League will use a franchise system in which eight teams will be created to participate in the league.

How did the Indian Super League come about?

The Indian Super League came into existence in December in the year 2010, when the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a 15-year deal with American entertainment company International Management Group (IMG) and Indian company Reliance Industries.

They had seen the success of cricket’s IPL and wanted to bring such a setup to football. Primarily it was planned to alter the existing Indian league into a franchise system, whereas an IPL style distribution rooted completely in West Bengal proved a non-starter back in 2012.

Eventually, the Indian Super League was launched by IMG-Reliance, the All India Football Federation and presenter STAR Sports on 21 of October in the year 2013. It was firstly planned for January to March this year but was put back.

The pleasing bids for eight franchises were announced in early April, with Indian cricket stars, Bollywood actors and European clubs among the investors.The first outline for Indian players was laid on July 22, adding to the international marquee stars already acquired by most clubs.In the month of August, the anticipated Bangalore franchise shred and was replaced by Chennai.

 ISL Team auctions

When the Indian Super League was started in October 2013, it was declared that eight teams might be bought through an auction to take place before the end of the year 2013. The nine cities which were up for bidding originally were Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, Kochi, Chennai, Guwahati, Kolkata, Goa and Mumbai. On the other hand, due to the delay of the start of the Indian Super League from January 2014 to September 2014, bidding for the teams did not start till 3 March 2014. Bidders who are interested in ISL would have to gain a tender form for an Indian Super League team which is legal. Professional services firm, Ernst & Young, was specified duty of looking over the forms.

ISLOn 13 April 2014, the winning bidders were declared. The most pricey city to be won was the team of Kolkata, which was owned by a group which comprised former India cricket player Sourav Ganguly, Utsav Parekh, businessmen Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka and Spanish La Liga side Atlético Madrid, for about 18 crores. Each team’s base price was set at 12 crores which is 1,959,600.00 USD each. One more former Indian cricket player, Sachin Tendulkar, teaming up with PVP Ventures, gain the tender for the team of Kochi.

Bollywood stars also won bids for several teams. John Abraham, along with Shillong Lajong, owned the bid for the team of Guwahati. Ranbir Kapoor together with Bimal Parekh, owned the tender of the Mumbai team while Salman Khan won the Pune team with the Wadhawan Group. The team of Delhi was taken by DEN Networks whereas the Bangalore team was won by the Sun Group. The team of Goa, at last, was won by means of three way partnership among Dempo, Salgaocar, and Videocon.

Subsequently, on 14 of August, it was declared that the Bangalore franchise would disband and on 21 August it was confirmed that Bangalore would be replaced by Chennai team which is owned by Abhishek Bachchan, partnering with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Vita Dani.

The opening Indian Super League starts on Sunday with around 110,000 expected audiences at Atletico de Kolkata vs. Mumbai City match.

  • The new competition aims to boost the popularity of football in a country where 1.3billion people exists.
  • Former Premier League stars who are involved in these eight teams include Luis Garcia, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, David James and Nicolas Anelka.
  • The likes of Marco Materazzi, Alessandro Del Piero , Zico and David Trezeguet are also involved.
  • Top Indian cricketers who have played for India like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni bought into franchises.
  • This league will run from October and will end in December.

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