I-League Clubs Mohan Bagan, East Bengal In Peril After Losing Sponsorship Funds
I-League clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal "are up against financial problems," according to Aabhas Sharma of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Both were being sponsored by Indian business magnate Vijay Mallya's UB Group "for the last 15 years." With Mallya's business interests taking a severe hit in the last 18 months, "the two clubs are set to lose the UB Group's support." While the UB Group has not spelled out the actual plans for the football clubs, a 50% cut "in sponsorship money is expected." Indian football clubs, over the years, "have struggled" to monetize their popular appeal. Generally, "revenue sources for Indian clubs come from sponsorships, tickets sales, player trading and merchandise sales." A former finance secretary of an I-league club said, "These clubs' revenue models are highly impractical." Clubs "are now mooting the idea of a salary cap on players." East Bengal club official Debabrata Sarkar said, "Indian football has highly overpaid players." East Bengal "plans to reduce the overall annual spend" by Rs 10 crore ($1.7M). Much of it "will come from salary cuts" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 6/15).