In a note published before the World Cup, the Goldman Sachs bank concluded that China (one participation in 2002) and India (0) « will not play the tournament in the next twenty years if no significant changes occurin the organization of football in these countries, lagging behind the world of football despite their immense pool of talent (more than a third of the world’s population). This « change“Starts now in India, answer the promoters of the Indian Super League (ISL), the Championship which will see eight franchises compete in the biggest cities of the peninsula from September to November next. The first stone of a new football business offensive after a failed attempt in 2012 and a postponement in 2013.
The new formula is modeled on the cricket league, the king sport in India, carried by powerful sponsors (Reliance, the Indian petrochemical giant, has joined forces with IMG, the world leader in sports marketing), financed by batting and Bollywood stars (the franchises have sold between $2 and $3 million for ten years), and sportingly profiled by… a French agent, Bruno Satin. Ex-IMG, he is in charge of recruiting some sixty players, including eight « names », one per team, who will strengthen the Indian base of the workforce. The targets ? « In France, good players at the end of their careers and L2 players at the end of their contract and without an offer during the transfer window. India loves the Premier League but we should rather draw from the Middle Leagues, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and why not South America for loans.»
“Robert Pirès is on board with us”
The expatriates, about eight per team, should earn around 10,000 euros net per month, while the « players showcaseswill negotiate at much higher levels. Robert Pirès, 41 years old in October, already « drafted » in 2012 for 620,000 euros, will he be part of the adventure? « He is « on board » (on board) with usassures Bruno Satin. He trains all season with the Arsenal reserve, his form is not a problem.” Another former Premier League player, goalkeeper David « Calamity » James has just been signed. Dwight Yorke, Fredrik Ljungberg and Hernan Crespo are also expected to tread the lawns of Bombay, Calcutta, New Delhi or Bangalore. Bruno Satin also targets coaches, « high-level, for the marketing impact, but who can also be former players for a first experience or seasoned coaches without a contract« . Could the freelance seduce another French world champion, Marcel Desailly?
This beautiful world will evolve under the cameras of Star India (Murdoch group), another partner of a project which displays the ambition to consolidate the practice and improve the elite. Ranked at the bottom of the FIFA hierarchy (154th), India follows a low-level Championship, the I-League, dispassionately, postponed to December so as not to overlap with the ISL, with the blessing of the Federation. « Served by failing infrastructure, low practice in urban centers, fledgling education and politicized governance(Goldman Sachs), however, football is benefiting from growing interest in India from the younger generations, « noticeable in schoolswhere stars’ jerseys flourish. In 2017, India will host the Under-17 World Championship, its first international competition.