What is the difference between the Indian Super League and the I-League?

Mudassir Ali
Dec 19, 2019 02:51 PM 0 Answers
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What is the difference between the Indian Super League and the I-League?

Mudassir Ali
- Dec 19, 2019 02:52 PM

Prior to 1996 India mainly played tournaments like IFA Shield, Santosh Cup, Federation cup etc, we never had a league system to support Indian football, no scope to any of the AFC titles. At this point, National Football League (NFL) was created to bring in structure to Indian Football. Most of the teams that participated in NFL were hobby turned into Family run Football clubs, Companies fielding teams as a part of CSR activities, Government quota teams. So whenever there used to be major losses to some company their football club were axed first & players were not paid salaries for years for example FC Cochin etc. To curb this issue I-League was formed in 2007, mainly to bring in more professionalism to Indian Football.

I-League: I-League started of with huge ambitions, gave exposure for winners of the league to play in AFC Champions League and AFC Cup. Big corporates like Essel group fielded Mumbai FC, Piramals Fielded Pune FC and other than football powerhouses like Goa & Kolkata, there were number of teams from NorthEast of India. So the corporates were coming in plus the legacy teams like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal were already there but I-League failed in Financial stability, numerous clubs went defunct due to the revenue model. Teams had to depend heavily on sponsors fee as merchandising & ticket sales were almost negligible and the broadcasting revenue went straight to AIFF instead of clubs.

In 2012-13 IMG-Reliance were awarded as a commercial arm to AIFF to increase the brand value of I-League. Corporate entry doors were opened in the sense the club do not have to go through ladder of promotions from lower divisions but can directly have an entry to I-League after paying in certain amount of value. Bengaluru FC, Bharat FC are examples of the same

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