On Monday, IMG-Reliance sent out a letter to the I-League clubs wherein they expressed their keenness to take players on loan for their tournament which kicks-off in January next year.
Earlier, the I-League clubs, under the aegis of I-League Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA), had decided not to associate with any player who has penned a deal to ply their trade at the IPL-style tournament.
It must be noted that the Kushal Das, the AIFF general secretary, had written to two clubs on behalf of their partners for a meeting to discuss the loaning of players back in July. However the said discussion never took place given that the clubs wanted a detailed plan on IMG-Reliance’s tournament prior to the AIFF Executive Committee meeting.
Subrata Dutta, the AIFF vice-president, had mentioned that the clubs can bid for the franchisees in the new tournament.
“We wish to inform you that, we will be shortly inviting bids for franchises of the IMG Reliance tournament, and are open to receive bid offers from I-League clubs,” Ashu Jindal, CEO, IMG-Reliance wrote to the clubs.
However should an I-League bid for the franchisee, they wouldn’t be allowed to rope in their players from their existing teams unless they are registered in the ‘IMG-Reliance player pool’.
“We would be happy to include your players in our player pool by way of a loan, in the event you notify us prior to the finalization of the player pool for this year.
“In any case, whether or not you wish to participate in the IMG Reliance Tournament, we would be happy to take your players on loan as we believe that the players will also benefit from playing in this tournament. We look forward to discuss this with you at the earliest,” wrote Jindal.
IMG-Reliance also assured the clubs that they are working on a marketing plan in order to increase the profile of India’s top division league.
“[We] are working with a renewed focus on marketing and promotion, with an aim to increase multifold, the existing viewership and fan base in the I-League.”
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