Clubs cite economic crisis, want ISL to reduce franchise fee


Written by Mihir Vasavda
| New Delhi |

Published: July 30, 2020 11:02:44 pm

ISL clubs have projected their revenues to dip sharply while expecting the expenses to rise this season. (File)

Citing the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic, as well as the fact that the season will be played behind closed doors in one state, the Indian Super League (ISL) teams have requested the organisers, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), to reduce the franchise fee this season. If the FSDL agrees, the move could considerably reduce the losses suffered by the franchises.

At present, most of the teams lose approximately Rs 30 crore every season. The only major source of income for them is the revenue from the central pool, which is around Rs 13 crore each, but that is almost evened out by the franchise fee they pay each year. The fee has not been disclosed publicly but it ranges between Rs 13-16 crore per team.

This season, the clubs have projected their revenues to dip sharply while expecting the expenses to rise because of the league being held in a bubble in one state to ensure player safety. Goa is considered to be the frontrunner to host the entire league, which is likely to begin in November and end in March. The pre-season is set to begin in October.

“With the league likely to be held behind closed doors and in one state, combined with the Covid-19 pandemic situation, it is certainly going to impact the financials of the club for this season. With regards to that, we have requested the league to support us in terms of reduction of the franchise fee,” Bengaluru FC CEO Mandar Tamhane said.

While conducting all matches in one state will help the teams save on their travelling budget, a lot of teams fear it might be costlier to put up their players in a hotel for close to six months. Playing away from home also means there will be no income from ticket sales and the revenue from branding activities likely to take a hit as well.

A decision on the issue is likely to be made in August, when the ISL will announce the venue as well as finalise the fixtures for the seventh season.

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