STOP KNOCKING THE ISL DOOR
I was a hard core KERLA POLICE fan. But, when the Kerala Police team was dismantled I started loving Mohun Bagan, the national club of India. It’s really painful for a loyal fan like me to see MOHUN BAGAN is impatiently knocking the door of Indian Super League (ISL).
I like ISL, because ISL revived Indian football and gave us an opportunity to talk about football with pride. It is a business for IMG-Reliance. Reliance, a big Indian business house has started ISL with the support of IMG, world’s greatest sports management company for making money. There is no crime in making money. Surely their process of making money, helped Indian footballers to get good money and stardom, and Indian football fans got chance to watch good football in stadiums and as television live.
I don’t believe, ISL can do anything else for the development of Indian football rather than creating hype. But Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have greater roles in Indian football. As the oldest Indian clubs they must have lead the Indian football. They must realise ISL teams are just a three months long football bubbles, but the clubs out of ISL are the propagators of 365 days football and the biggest stakeholders of football ecosystem.
But today, I hate Mohun Bagan, for the statement they made “No Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, no ISL. We will not allow ISL here.” This is against the spirit of the sports. As a kid, when somebody not included me in their game, I rushed to start my own game. Simple. I think most of us did the same. ISL is for making money and franchisee fee is their revenue. We can request them for some concession. How will you threaten ISL for not giving you concession? It’s like some goonda comes to your office and demand 20 free tickets to watch your game. They use the same language, “If you don’t give me ticket, no match.” What a shameful situation.
The second reason to hate Mohun Bagan today is “We will not allow business in the name of football.” This mind-set is the real drawback of Indian football. If Football is not business, then God must save Indian football. Why does Mohun Bagan try to enter into ISL? For money or football?
Please read my earlier article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/football-business-god-must-save-indian-sijin-b-t on this subject.
I request the administrators of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal to realize their roles in the development of Indian football. Please learn the history of world’s major league, English Premier League. In 1992, the 20 First Division clubs of English Football League resigned from the League to take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal and on May 27, 1992, the Premier League as we know it today was formed. Why Mohun Bagan and East Bengal can’t take the lead to talk with non-ISL football clubs and think about reviving the I-League for your financial benefits or start a new league?
I would like to share you the tips sports management and football management students at Sports & Management Research Institute (SMRI) learn as part of their curriculum. Hope it will help our football administrators and football fans to realize that football is nothing without clubs. No clubs means no opportunity for players to play and fans to enjoy. No competitions (Leagues/tournaments) means no opportunity for clubs to play and survive. Please understand this.