Indian Super League
|Founded||21 October 2013|
|Number of teams||8|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|TV partners||See TV partners|
|2014 ISL season|
The Indian Super League, officially known as the Hero Indian Super League for sponsorship reasons, will be a professional football league in India. The league will be one of the top tier football leagues in India, the other being the I-League. It will feature eight franchise teams from all around India. The league will run from October to December, with a finals series determining the champion.
The Indian Super League was founded in 2013 in an effort to make football a top sport in India and to make Indian football a major player worldwide. The league will operate along the lines of the Twenty20 cricket Indian Premier League, and Major League Soccer of the United States. Unlike the majority of football leagues around the world, the ISL will not use the promotion and relegation system. Instead, the ISL will use a franchise system in which eight teams will be created to participate in the league.
On 9 December 2010, the All India Football Federation signed a 15-year, 700-crore deal with Reliance Industries and the International Management Group of the United States. The deal gave IMG-Reliance exclusive commercial rights to sponsorship, advertising, broadcasting, merchandising, video, franchising, and rights to create a new football league. This deal came about after the AIFF ended their 10-year deal with Zee Sports five years early back in October 2010.
The first rumours of a Indian Premier League-type football league started during the conflict between the owners of the I-League clubs and the AIFF over lack of communication. The rumour was that IMG-Reliance had planned on reforming the I-League along the lines of the IPL and Major League Soccer in the United States.
On 25 April 2011, the first version of an IPL-type football league was officially launched when the Indian Football Association of West Bengal launched the Bengal Premier League Soccer with the first season scheduled for 2012. All six franchises would be based within West Bengal. The league would feature top players such as Fabio Cannavaro, Robbie Fowler, Hernán Crespo, and Robert Pirès. However, in February 2012, it was announced that the league would be postponed to an undecided date before finally disbanding officially in 2013 due to financial reasons.
Despite the Bengal Premier League Soccer's failure, the AIFF approved the IMG-Reliance's proposal of another IPL-style league for 2014 but this time to include all of India. Early hits towards the proposed league followed soon after with owners of the I-League clubs fully going against this idea. The owners formed an organization known as the Indian Professional Football Clubs Association and stated that they would go against loaning out their players to IMG-Reliance for the league and go against signing any players already signed by IMG-Reliance. However, in August 2013, it was reported that IMG-Reliance had already signed the required amount of Indian players needed.
The Indian Super League was officially launched on 21 October 2013 by IMG-Reliance, STAR Sports, and the AIFF. It was also announced that the league would take place from January 2014 to March 2014. However, on 29 October 2013, it was announced that the ISL would be postponed to September 2014. Also in October, it was announced that former Manchester United player and France international Louis Saha had become the first marquee signing for the Indian Super League.
At first, it was announced that bidding for the eight Indian Super League teams would be complete before the end of 2013 and that there was already high-interest from big corporates, Indian Premier League teams, Bollywood stars, and other consortiums. However, due to the rescheduling of the league, the bidding for the teams was moved to 3 March 2014. It was also revealed around this time that not only would bidders need to comply with a financial requirement but they would also need to promote grass-roots development plans for football within their area.
Finally, in early April 2014, the winning bidders were announced. The selected cities/state in the end were Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune. Former India cricket player Sachin Tendulkar, along with PVP Ventures, won the bidding for the Kochi franchise. Another former Indian cricket player, Sourav Ganguly, along with a group of Indian businessmen and La Liga side Atlético Madrid, had won the bidding for the Kolkata franchise. Meanwhile, Bollywood stars John Abraham, Ranbir Kapoor, and Salman Khan had won the bidding for the Guwahati, Mumbai, and Pune franchises respectively. Bangalore and Delhi were won by companies while Goa was won by a partnership between Videocon and I-League sides Dempo and Salgaocar.
The first team to be launched officially was the Kolkata franchise as Atlético de Kolkata on 7 May 2014. Then, on 7 July 2014, the team announced the first head coach signing in Indian Super League history when they signed Antonio López Habas. The next day, Kolkata also announced the first official marquee signing in the Indian Super League when they signed UEFA Champions League winner Luis García. A few days later, on 16 July, the second marquee signing was announced with Guwahati's Northeast United signed 2010 World Cup winner Joan Capdevila.
On 22 July 2014, the Indian Super League held its first ever draft for Indian players. Notable names from the India national team to be available in the draft were Subrata Pal, Syed Nabi, and Mehtab Hossain. At the end of the draft it was reported that a total of 24 crore were spent during the Indian players draft.
On 14 August 2014, it was announced that the Bangalore franchise would disband before the start of the season. However, the team was quickly replaced when it was announced that Chennai would be awarded a team in place of Bangalore on 21 August. Eight days later it was announced that Alessandro Del Piero had signed with the Delhi Dynamos FC as their marquee player.
The Indian Super League regular season will run between October and November with the finals series being played in November and December. During the regular season, each team will play each other twice on a home and away basis. The top four teams at the end of the season will qualify for the finals series. The semi-finals will be played in a two-legged format with the winners moving onto the one-legged final.
The Indian Super League will also consist of controlled rosters. Each team must sign at least one marquee player while they must also sign seven other foreigners. Of these seven foreigners, only two can be signed directly by the club with the other five coming from the foreign player draft. Each team must also have 14 Indian domestic players, four of which being local players to the city.
Media coverage and sponsorship
STAR Sports, who are a part of the group who founded the Indian Super League, will broadcast the ISL officially through India. The network will use their expertise to take the league to millions of households and also monetise the content on and off the field. The goal is to get people in India excited by football and make them more aware of it.
On 18 July 2014 it was announced that Hero MotoCorp had signed a three-year agreement with the Indian Super League organizers to become the title sponsor of the league. This thus made the Indian Super League known officially as the Hero Indian Super League.
On 19 September 2014 it was announced that the Indian Super League (ISL) will be the first sporting event in the country to be backed by a never-before seen, ubiquitous broadcast platform plan, with the potential to reach around 85 per cent of India’s television audience.In a pursuit to enthrall football purists as well as generate mass fan-following for Indian football, the ISL will be telecast LIVE on a range of Star India’s sports, movie and regional channels - a first in the history of broadcast in India.Spanning over eight channels in the sports and general entertainment category across five languages, the Hero Indian Super League will be televised on Star Sports 2 (English), Star Sports 3 (Hindi), Star Sports HD 2 (English), Star Gold (Hindi), Star Utsav (Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jalsha Movies (Bengali) and Suvarna Plus (Kannada). Further more, live streaming will be available on www.starsports.com.Star Sports TV channel having broadcasting right to Watch online indian Super League Match just Visit official site of Star Sports
On 15 September 2014 Fox Sports announced that they would telecast the matches of Indian Super League in Australia cashing in on the popularity of former Sydney FC marquee and Italy international, Alessandro Del Piero.
- "RELIANCE, IMG WORLDWIDE AND STAR INDIA, LAUNCH `INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE' FOR FOOTBALL". IMG. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- Katakey, Rakteem. "Tendulkar Buys Team as Cricket-Mad India Tests Soccer League". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- Mergulhao, Marcus. "ISL postponed again, by 3 weeks". Times of India. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Bali, Rahul. "IMG-Reliance keen to start an eight team franchisee competition, I-League likely to follow the MLS". Goal.com. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "AIFF signs 700-crore deal with IMG-RIL". Times of India. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "AIFF approaches Jindal, Videocon to sponsor I-League". Top News. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "I-League clubs refuse to accept AIFF diktat". Times of India. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "IFA announces launch of Premier League Soccer". Times of India. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Cannavaro, Pires, Fowler, Crespo In All New India League". Goal.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "India’s ambitious Premier League Soccer plan finally axed". Goal.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Mohan, Srinivasan. "IMG-Reliance to host franchisee based tournament in 2014". Goal.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Clubs hit out against new I-League format, IMG Reliance tournament". New Indian Express. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Baber, Mark. "India's I-League teams fail licensing tests as AIFF and IMG-Reliance forge ahead". Inside World Football. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Indian Super League postponed". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Louis Saha roped in for IMG- R League". Cover India Live. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Rao, K Shriniwas. "Indian Super League postponed by six months". Times of India. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Bidding process for Indian Super League opens on March 3". NDTV Sports. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Football league bids kick off with a roar". Business-Standard. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly foray into football, win ISL bids". Times of India. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Loiwal, Manogya. "Kolkata franchise of Indian Super League launched, christened Atletico de Kolkata". India Today. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Mallick, Jayanta. "Antonio Lopez Habas declared as franchise-based football team coach". The Hindu Businessline. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Atletico De Kolkata signs Luis Garcia for Indian Super League". Economic Times. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Bali, Rahul. "Capdevila: 'It’s a privilege to popularise football in India'". Goal.com. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Indian Super League football: Major signings on day 1 of players draft". One India News. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Franchises spent Rs 24 crore in players' draft at Indian Super League". DNA India. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Trehan, Dev. "Indian Super League: Ex-Juventus and Monaco striker David Trezeguet joins FC Pune City". Sky Sports. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Oinam, Jayanta. "Sun Group opt out of inaugural Indian Super League". Zee News. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Chennai replaces Bangalore franchise of Indian Super League". Times of India. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Alessandro del Piero Signs up With Delhi Dynamos in Indian Super League". NDTV Sports. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Indian Super League Schedule 2014 Table, Start Date". Football Wood. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Mergulhao, Marcus. "Franchisees racing against time to complete marquee signing". Times of India. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Kumar, Sooraj. "Hero Indian Super League is all set to promote and popularise Football in India". India. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "IMG Reliance invites bids for Indian Super League football teamsshare". Indian Television. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Hero named title sponsor of Indian Super League". Times of India. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "ISL Live Streaming". ISL. Retrieved 28 July 2014.