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ISL introduces salary cap of Rs 20 crore for clubs

MUMBAI: The Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 will have a Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million) cap on players’ salary, the Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL) decided at its first governing council (GC) meeting held here to review the inaugural season and present player guidelines for ISL 2015.

FSDL is the controlling body of the ISL formed through a joint venture between IMG-Reliance and Star India. The GC committee consists of all eight ISL participatory club representatives and officials from FSDL.

Apart from introducing players’ salary cap for ISL clubs, the GC also introduced a new set of player regulations for ISL 2015.

As per the new rules, each club must have a minimum of one marquee player. The clubs can retain their marquee player from the inaugural season but are free to sign one from the open market, with prior approval from the league.

Furthermore, a club can retain a minimum of one and maximum of five international players and a minimum of one and maximum of six domestic players.

Additionally, clubs are allowed to contract international players by themselves through the market directly.

Domestic players who are not part of the retention list of clubs can be signed by any ISL club in the open market until April 2015. In case they are still without contract, such players will be listed in the domestic draft.

The GC also decided that each club would have at least 22 players, with a mandatory two developmental players in the squad. A club can have a maximum squad size of 25. The additional quota of three players can have maximum two international players.

Each team would consist of one marquee, eight international, and 13 domestic players including the compulsory two under-23 developmental players.

The ISL will have an auction for Indian players who have played in the senior national team but missed out on the inaugural ISL season. Each club will be eligible to add only one such player from the auction list comprising 12 to 15 players. Those not picked through auction will form part of the domestic players draft.

Commenting on the development, an ISL spokesperson said, “The new set of rules are defined to encourage clubs in player retention, assist them in managing the player costs, and provide a level playing field for each club to prepare for the second season with a reasonable and broadly equitable chance of winning the ISL 2015.

“The inaugural year of the ISL brought to fore many new faces of Indian football other than the known international names. The league encourages the clubs to retain such players to help them build an identity and fan base.”