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ISL 2017: No relegation is a good thing, says Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell

Rohith Nair
FEATURED COLUMNIST
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479   //    22 Dec 2017, 01:16 IST

Steve Coppell no relegation ISL
Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell (Image: ISL)

The ISL has received some criticism in the past because it is a 'closed tournament' without any relegation but Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell thinks otherwise.

After six games in the ISL so far, Jamshedpur have the best defensive record having conceded only one goal so far. However, the team have also failed to score at the other end - scoring just two goals this season - the lowest in the league.

It has earned their squad the label of a 'defensive team' but it is a label that Coppell is also proud of - even though they are sixth in the table.

The English manager has been in charge of Premier League clubs such as Crystal Palace and Reading and has suffered relegation in the past. But it is a concept he feels that will not work in a league with teams that are still trying to build something on what little they have.

"If there was relegation then I think teams would play different styles of football," he explained.

"There could be an element of - not 'carefree', that's the wrong word - but you don't have to be frightened. From that point of view I think that's a bonus for everybody."

Jamshedpur are the newest entrants in the ISL alongside Bengaluru but the Blues have been around since 2013, playing in the I-League. On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC were formed only this year.

"Certainly, as a new franchise, if we had the threat of relegation hanging over us then we and a few other teams might play differently. It's a new team, a new franchise - it's just a whole new experience for everybody at the club. We're learning as we go along."

Coppell beleives that the absence of relegation allows clubs to build for the future rather than invest heavily for little return once the club is relegated.

"If you look at American football - mainly the American sports - where there is no relegation, it makes for stronger clubs.

"They can then plan for years to come and it makes them a stronger entity rather than like in the English Premier League where some clubs will commit so much money on contracts for players, then get relegated and find a year or so later that they're bankrupt.

"So I think it's a real good thing that there is no relegation. Not because I'm frightened of it but I just think it makes the club stronger."

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