Team Chennai Replaces Bangalore Franchise As Indian Super League's 8th Team
Team Chennai has replaced the Sun Group-promoted Bangalore franchise in the Indian Super League football tournament "set to be held tentatively" from Oct. 12-Dec. 20, according to the PTI. ISL holding company Football Sports Development Private Ltd. CEO Anupam Dutta said, "The eighth team in the ISL would be Team Chennai represented today by Prashant Agarwal of Play on Skills which has a technical collaboration with Inter Milan in India." The holding company is a "joint venture between IMG-Reliance and Star India." Dutta: "The owners of the Chennai franchise would be announced later" (PTI, 8/21). The IANS reported the "official line" from ISL management was that Agarwal has been "designated by the owner to attend the draft on his behalf." The names of Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala are "doing the rounds as the owners of the Chennai franchise" (IANS, 8/21). INDIAN TELEVISION's Herman Gomes reported the ISL saw close to Rs 16 crore ($2.6M) being spent on int'l players who "were a part of the draft and were picked by eight teams in seven rounds." Team Goa proved to be the "most generous" as it spent Rs 2.46 crore ($405,000) on seven players. Team Chennai shelled out Rs 2.34 crore ($385,000) on its seven players. Next in line was Atletico de Kolkata, which selected six players for Rs 2.17 crore ($357,000). A total of 56 int'l players, 49 from Thursday's draft and "seven being contracted by the clubs directly, were drafted among the eight ISL clubs" (INDIAN TELEVISION, 8/21).
CHOPRA JOINS KERALA: REUTERS' Sudipto Ganguly reported former EPL Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra was picked by the Kerala Blasters, co-owned by former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Chopra, who has "also played for a host of other Premier League clubs, was the only English player in the draft" (REUTERS, 8/21). THE NATIONAL reported Chopra will earn $58,185 per season (THE NATIONAL, 8/21).