ISL 2017: AIFF requests IMG-R to subsidise franchise-fee for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan
What's the story?
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has requested IMG-Reliance, the organisers of the Indian Super League, to provide a concession to Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, with regards to the franchise feet to enter the cash-rich tournament.
In case you didn't know
For a long time now, both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have been actively participating in the I-League, which is one of the premier football leagues in India. The two clubs were not too keen on paying the hefty franchise fee for ISL.
However, with ATK making their fourth appearance in the league, which they have already won twice, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal representatives came out with another proposal, asking for a spot in the cash-rich league.
Apart from this, the two clubs were also given a major boost earlier this month, as they will now be allowed to host their matches at the Salt Lake Stadium. To add to that the West Bengal government waivered the fee for hosting the matches for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. They will now only have to pay the charges necessary for keeping the premises clean after the game.
Heart of the matter
Bengaluru FC created headlines by confirming that they were taking part in the ISL, having only participated in the I-League in the past.
With ATK already in the league, and Mohun Bagan and East Bengal wanting to chart out a bigger future for their club, the proposal was accepted with a condition that the clubs would have to pay the entry fee in instalments.
However, the AIFF has intervened on the behalf of the two Kolkata giants and asked IMG-R to give the two clubs a concession from the franchise fee, according to sources.
While the fee structure applies for every franchise in the ISL, the request from the AIFF might influence IMG-R to forcefully agree to the relaxation in fee, which could serve as a huge boost for both the teams.
If the fee is indeed relaxed and they do indeed feature in the ISL next season, it would be a big step forward that could see sponsors finally making a move to promote Mohun Bagan and East Bengal as premier teams, and also improve the facilities, which would in turn influence more youngsters to take up the sport in Kolkata.