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John Abraham and MS Dhoni are the latest forces rumoured to join hands in order to raise the capital to ‘afford’ a team in the newly proposed tournament...

It was recently reported that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan owned up in his support of the Indian Premier League (IPL)-like tournament, proposed by IMG-Reliance, the commercial and marketing partners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), and feathered dreams to own a Kolkata franchise in the same venture.

Now, it seems others too are interested in taking a major dip into this tournament, with sources close to the duo, John Abraham and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD), admitting the stars want to team up to buy out a franchise.

“John has already made his expression of interest to invest in the league and also plans to involve Dhoni in the venture," elucidated a person close to the heart of the matter to The Times of India.

It is well documented fact that Abraham and MSD share common interest with regard to the game of football and its development in the country. Both of them have taken turns to promote football through various television advertisements.

John Abraham paid a visit to the league’s preparatory camp, held at the Cooperage in Mumbai, along with former India skipper Bhaichung Bhutia where he expressed his desire to own a new league franchise, if and only if he could cough up the funds required.

GMR, owners of the Delhi franchise of the cricket's IPL, are also said to weighing up the possibilities of engraving a foothold in the tournament with sources close to the organization stating their interests were genuine. "The GMR group is open to the idea and would commit after evaluating the proposals."

As Goal reported earlier, a Kerala consortium is also looking into the possibility of owning a franchise, preferably the one from the state itself.

IMG-Reliance are taking all the necessary steps to make the league a hit with it being revealed that prices for the tournament’s franchises is still being finalized, while at the same time chalking out mega-buck deals with broadcasters and sponsors alike.

Franchise auctions itself are scheduled for a September date, while the league kicks off on January 18th, 2014 up to March 30th.

While details of player participation as of yet are murky, the league is said to feature twenty-two players from each team including ten foreign players and a marquee signing.

Each team, as has been stipulated, will have eight local players and four players from the U-23 group, from the same locality. Expected size of the marquee player pool is around 12-to-15.


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