New Delhi: With the I-League starting from January 9 2016, teams have decided to pool in and make an effort to market the tourney along with the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
According to a report in The Indian Express, the clubs have decided to take this step in order to stay afloat as the I-League fights for its survival.
The I-League has been battling with so many issues and problems that has already accounted to only nine teams playing this season apart from monetary crisis that has hit them hard.
I-League's zero visibility is a current reality as the AIFF has been blamed often to have done so little. Moreover, the emergence of Indian Super League and its mega rich monetary flow has hampered the growth of I-League.
AIFF has failed to formulate a proper strategic plan since the League's inception as teams have struggled to build an identity owing to poor promotion and revenue model.
Reports claim that a meeting was held on Saturday with all the stakeholders of the clubs. It was decided there that all involved parties will contribute a substantial amount to a central pool. The money will be used to buy airtime on regional channels along with space in the media covering both print and digital.
AIFF’s commercial partners IMG-Reliance will not be contributing to the revenue pool. Also, even if they are getting broadcasters to showcase the matches, the clubs are unlikely to get any amount from the TV deal which is a sad scenario.
I-League CEO Sunando Dhar stated that both the AIFF and the clubs are taking an initiative in the market to better the visibility.
The 2016 season was marred by hurdles right from this year with three clubs Pune FC, Bharat FC and Royal Wahingdoh, deciding to pull out of the upcoming I-League citing poor visibility and lack of a clear roadmap as the key reasons.
According to sources, the exact amount which the clubs will have to set aside for this pool will be finalised during a meeting on December 28.