The Indian Super League will feature two new teams this season with Tata owned Jamshedpur and JSW owned Bangalore being the new additions to the competition.
The announcement was made by IMG Reliance and Star India on Monday, June 13 after they revealed that Tata and JSW had won the bids to bring in new teams in the plans to expand the league.
Sunil Bhaskaran, Vice President Corporate Services, Tata Steel and Chairman TFA, said to the league’s website: “We are extremely excited to have won the bid for our hometown Jamshedpur and will provide the best of facilities for football to prosper in the eastern part of our country.”
Running in its fourth edition, this year will not just see an increase in the number of teams but will also see the competition run for an extended five-month-module.
The two new teams were included through an ‘Invitation To bid’ backed by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) where an independent panel along with All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das worked to evaluate the bids.
“A lot of time and thought has gone into our decision of wanting to be part of the Indian Super League”, said Parth Jindal, CEO of JSW.
JSW are also the owners of Bengaluru FC, one of the most successful clubs in the I-League, winning the title twice including the one in its debut season since its formation three years ago.
The auction for homegrown players this year is expected to take place in the first week of July while the clubs can still sign marquee players from outside.
Eidur Gudjohnsen and Francesco Totti have been top targets for most of the clubs. Totti, who will leave AS Roma at the end of June this year, is most likely to surpass Mumbai City’s Diego Forlan’s record fee to become the league’s most expensive player if he sets foot on Indian turf.
Clubs are expected to splash out more money than ever this season as the growth of the ISL has been enormous and has been getting recognition from all around the world.