With ISL set to become the top division, what does it mean for Mohun Bagan and East Bengal?
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has finally revealed the roadmap and structure for Indian domestic football, clearing up a lot of doubts on the future of football in India. The proposed plan has been approved by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The Indian Super League is set to be the top tier league in the nation with I-League serving as the second tier in the Indian football pyramid.
The Kolkata based juggernauts can gain entry into the ISL by one of two ways. They can either pay a certain amount of money or win the I-League.
By paying a certain sum of money
With the 2019-20 season of Indian football right around the corner, there are no changes recommended for this season by the AIFF and the AFC. Two I-League clubs will be offered an entry to the Indian Super League either ahead of the 2020/21 season or by the end of the same campaign. The two clubs entering the ISL will have to pay a sum of Rs. 15 crores each to the AIFF in return for recognition as a top tier club in the country.
As per the reports from certain news agencies, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are interested in joining the ISL. The two sides are expected to take up the offer and pay the required fees to get into India's premier football league.
However, if either club chooses to not bid for the vacant spots, there are certain I-League sides with the financial muscle who could step up and do the same. Clubs like Gokulam Kerala, current I-League champions Chennai City FC and TRAU have a certain backing from their owners and might bid for the two spots that may become available.
By winning the I-League
For the clubs with lesser financial muscle or those clubs who don't bid for the vacant bids, the winner of the 2022/2023 I-League and every subsequent season from thereon will gain automatic entry into the Indian Super League without paying any fees.