New Delhi: Blackburn Rovers owners, Venky’s, are among the 15 odd corporate houses, who have shown interest to bid for new teams for 2013-14 I-League.
According to All India Football Federation (AIFF) sources, several groups, including Venky’s, Piramal, Dodsal Group, IL&FS, JSW, and DSK will be attending Tuesday’s meeting.
While several companies from Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai and Kochi are keen to own teams in the I-league, some sports management companies from Calcutta and Delhi have also shown interest,” said an AIFF official.
The dwindling popularity of the I-League has forced the AIFF to try and get two to three new franchisee-owned teams in the competition. While the new teams are expected to invest heavily in the infrastructure, the AIFF is likely to change rules to keep them out of the relegation zone for the next few seasons.
Though the initial enthusiasm of some reputed companies have pleased the AIFF officials, some are not yet sure about the long-term benefits.
“Since our marketing partners still have all the marketing and broadcasting rights, the sharing of revenue in the I-League could prove to be key factor in convincing corporate houses to start new teams,” said a senior official.
The entire process of registering new teams are likely to be completed by the end of April. That will enable the franchisees to recruit footballers when the transfer window opens on June 9.
Two teams — ONGC and Air India — are likely to be dropped from the I-League for not fulfilling the AFC licensing criteria.
The AIFF won’t object if any of the clubs want to partner any other club in the world and join as a co-branded unit.