Indian Football has an unclear future as AIFF have to adhere to AFC’s order of merging both ISL and I-League from 2019-20 season. It is clear that the Indian Super League would be the top division but it is unclear what the rest of the structure would be like.
Sanket, a member of our forum came up with an idea on how AIFF can construct a structure for Indian Football from the top division to the State Leagues.
Even though everything seems to be pre-decided I still took time to make this. Till now (from 2015) we are hearing that FSDL will make league which is more beneficial to their business plan rather than actual footballing sense. What If they make structure that will help them as well as Indian football.
The way I understand All they want is viewer-ship and attendance , they were getting this till 2016 since there were no clashes or window was small and league would get over quickly. Now that excitement factor has gone due to constant changes in format, lets face it all seasons from 2016 to 2018 have been played in different ways.
Even if we try and make model like EPL/ LA LIGA it wont work straight away in India.
1. cricket is dominant here
2. Footballing culture is not present
NT success . Indians playing in European leagues , compact League w.r.t. our conditions is needed (or all of them together)
- so what I did is created 3 divisions as per existing teams but favourable to FSDL and star but in turn better for future of Indian football
- all divisions to be played in single window(by following FIFA calendar and IPL fixtures later on)
- added 6 teams with best attendances in ISL and re arranged next two divisions as per old formats
- here number of matches will be more of course (245 as compared to existing 110 including Super Cup) but that cost can be compensated by making certain changes e.g. IF I league use 6-8 cameras and ISL use 18 then new set up can use 12-14
- in Reality Star is anyway showing these matches from both leagues
- If old or proposed structure has been giving 2-3 key matches , here that number is substantially increased(•BFC vs CFC, BFC vs KBFC, EB vs MB, NEROCA vs NEUFC, KBFC vs GKFC, CFC vs CCFC) so going by Reliance logic of capturing ratings and views this should suit them well plus it will attract new fans
- refer pic 2 I divided teams as per their attendances , so What they will have to do is utilise Class A/B venues to get highest attendances and TV numbers (which in turn will give chance to attract sponsors)
- Key is to show all matches of A/B class venues on TV in prime time.
- Class C/D teams matches will have telecast too but in case of double header on weekend one match will be just on hotstar which is minor tweak , Again as per Reliance logic itself these bottom teams don’t have good viewer-ship
- Probably reliance is taking it wrong way to show all teams are equal which is clearly not the case so instead of scrapping low performers I added better ones to make decent average figure
- NEROCA and RKFC will have floodlights so their matches can be kept at evening time
- Venues like DDFC/NEUFC might need matches in evening time considering the fact that fans find it hard to return at home after late 9.30pm
- During IPL either they can show football matches on separate channel(no need of simultaneous telecast on 5-6 channels) or show them in entire different window altogether
- Play off can be added to attract more viewers but ACL spot should go to league topper
- no need for ISL or any team to have reserve squad( its useless anyway and there will be considerable cost cutting)
- no need of Super Cup as minimum matches criteria is getting fulfilled ( instead they can bring Durand/Federation cup /Rovers Cup/AWES cup as a pre-season tournaments from July to September)
- no need of FSDL intervention for hiring players and coaches , set minimum criteria if required (like for coaches UEFA Pro equivalent)
- number of foreigners is perfect at the moment
- for second division / League 1 reduce foreigners as per older format
- these league 1 and 2 can have telecast on local channels ,Free to air channels or hotstar
- state leagues and local leagues should be brought under one window from Oct-March
So what are advantages reliance or other entities get
1. duration of league for which players are contracted is somewhat similar (currently players came in India from August and will stay Till April ) & teams have started keeping players in apartments anyways so there should not be extra expenses
2. more key matches which can be hyped for better TV ratings and views.
3. competition gets spiced up which is important to keep interest
4. consistent schedule which will be helpful for better attendance figures
5. longer calendar so future players will have more exposure
6. no clashes with FIFA calendar or IPL:
7. no need to close down any team
look at attendance numbers in last image, BFC used to get decent numbers since matches were in fix Thursday-Sunday window which is now hampered (this is applicable to all teams) adding to that there was huge gap in schedule in December so it was never settled.
with these 6 teams addition ISL numbers gets boost any-ways.