Former East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan hits back at critics of the IMG-Reliance league

The 56-year-old believes that critics have the wrong end of the hose in their biased opinions of the new league's impact...

Trevor James Morgan, who has been newly appointed trainer-cum-coach for the IMG-Reliance training camp in Mumbai, has expressed his heart-felt opinion about scepticism surrounding the new league’s impact on Indian football.

“Nobody is going to know if this could affect the I-League until it actually happens. It could be the best thing that could happen to the I-League, it may not, who knows. But it is a great concept. Only time will tell if it is going to be successful,” the 56-year-old expressed to The Hindustan Times .

“The IPL has taken Indian cricket to another level and that has gone down right through the system. If [this] league has half that effect on the game of football in India then it would be great,” exemplified the Englishman.

He also stressed that critics who press the failsafe button in favour of the I-League all too often have it wrong, implying to The Times of India, “You can't run a programme down even before the season has started. The plans that IMG have are fantastic, the people (players) they want to try to bring in and to spread the game right across India. To get a chance to see players we only saw on television would be a great opportunity for all football fans across India.”

Morgan (C) seen engaging in a training session with the players

The Perth-based Briton is in India on a month-long contract to oversee training proceedings for the players contracted by IMG-Reliance. For the group who constituted 37 personnel, including Indian national hopefuls Syed Rahim Nabi and Subrata Paul at the Cooperage in Mumbai, Morgan has vouched for the players.

“They are going to be playing in January, but I believe they might be going on loan to the I-League clubs before that tournament. They need to bring themselves to a level of fitness that they can compete at,” he stated.

Declassifying his role in the on-going merry-go-round of IMG-Reliance speculation, Morgan expounded, “I am here just to help the players with their fitness. It's not my team. I need to help players when they go to their clubs and the relevant places that they go, that they are up to the level of fitness that the other players would be. I am just going to be working on their fitness."

The tournament, though its name is yet to be christened formally, mooted by IMG-Reliance, who are the commercial partners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), has risen as a bone of contention between the Indian FA and the I-League clubs’ owners, all of whom believe the tournament will diminish the traditional league's popularity, a belief staunchly opposed by all others on this side of the divide.  

The franchise based model will have eight teams from different cities, reportedly of which Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Goa and Kochi are being considered.


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