Indian Super League Clubs Spend Total Of $4M During Two-Day Domestic Player Draft
Football franchises spent around Rs 24 crore ($4M) in the two-day domestic player draft for the inaugural Indian Super League, according to the PTI. IMG Senior VP Jefferson Slack said, "The Rs 24 crore that was spent (by franchises) was a lot of money. We got into this venture three and a half years ago. Today it was very fulfilling this (draft) has happened. It has been a historic couple of days. This is a big step by IMG." The break-up of the "amount spent by the six franchises" which took part in the draft is: Atletico Kolkata: Rs 3.91 crore ($650,000); Delhi Dynamos: Rs 2.81 crore ($467,000); Kerala Blasters: Rs 3.31 crore ($,550,000); Bengaluru: Rs 3.04 crore ($506,000); Mumbai: Rs 3.76 crore ($625,000) and Pune: Rs 3.19 crore ($531,000). The "remaining amount was spent by the other two franchises -- Goa and North East United FC -- who had finalised their domestic players" before the draft and "announced them over the last two days." Star India President Nitin Kukreja said the exact dates of the tournament, for which the All India Football Federation has left a window open between Sept. 18 and Dec. 7, are "still not decided." Kukreja: "We are nearly there in terms of finalizing. It will be done by next week as we are still in discussion" (PTI, 7/23). The MUMBAI MIRROR reported Pune has a "certain aspiration value" that has "made it a sporting capital of the state with better infrastructure and large youth population." It was "little surprise" that the Pune ISL franchise was among the "costliest of the eight teams that are part of the IMG Reliance-promoted venture." Pune had the "luxury of taking the first pick and could have gone for players in the top domestic bracket." Instead, the "think tank opted for youngsters who could be with the club for a longer duration and form the core of the Indian contingent." Pune Owner Wadhawan Holdings Pvt. Ltd. CEO & Founder Gaurav Modwel said, "If you see our squad the eldest player we picked was Joaquim Abranches, who is 28." The team has "also signed a strategic partnership deal with Italian Serie A side Fiorentina, which will not only help the team send their players for training to Italy but also use the expertise of the club" in its youth development program. The club appointed former Napoli player Franco Colomba as its coach (MUMBAI MIRROR, 7/23).