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What the I-league clubs fail to understand.

22 Mar 2011, 11:18 IST

I didnt give a rat’s ass about the I-league or “NFL” as it was called then.

Then i came across Chhetri,  Baichung and Subrata and they gave me hope. If they came out of this system, it couldn’t be all that bad.

When i started watching the league a bit closer, i lost all hope. I realised that clubs treat their players as mercenaries with no respect for them or their life outside of football. National Duty comes second to club duty. Players are bought for high amounts of money with no infrastructure in place.

What they cannot realise is that with the success of a country’s national side, the success of a club side follows automatically. A good player in the national side can become a target for clubs abroad who can in turn attempt to buy the player which in turn raises interest in the club and if the transaction is succesful, pump some much needed “paper power” into the club.

When i start with a new club as manager in FIFA 11, the first thing i do is improve the fitness coach. Why?? To improve the competitiveness of my players. I want to be in a situation where when the other team is almost dead, i can still run as long as i like. My ideology is ” A player is like a machine. He needs to be constantly oiled and tested for performance.”  I write this in my resume and BAM! – No I-league job for me. A league where the ideology is more like “Lets buy a big name player. Mission accomplished!”  They fail to understand that with the infrastructure in place, you can attract a player anyway and youll even get more revenue’s on the side. United Sikkim FC can fulfill the AFC criteria and have the infrastructure in place and have now  signed Liberian forward, Johnny Menyongar who has been capped 38 times for the Liberian national team. Whereas a team with no facilities werent able to sign a player from even Brunei.

Infrastructure and big players go hand in hand and once the Indian clubs realise that, Indian football can finally move forward.

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