The fifth season of the Indian Super League will see changes in player regulations, most notably in the number of foreign players allowed in the squad and a reduced salary cap for the procurement of players.
1) Seven foreigners allowed and no player draft for Indian players
Each club is required to have at least a 22-man squad which can have exactly seven foreign players. While clubs will be allowed to register up to 25 players in their squad, the limit on the number of foreigners remain - additional players shall be Indian players. These Indian players will be signed through an open market as there won't be a domestic player draft ahead of ISL 5.
This means that the maximum number of Indian players allowed in the squad is 18. And regardless of the strength of the squad, be it 22 or 25, there must be at least two developmental players included.
The clubs are also required to get the approval of the league for five of their seven foreign signings. The clubs can sign at least one player from a country that is part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) but it is not mandatory.
2) The salary cap for the fifth season of ISL is set at INR 17.5 Cr. (Foreign + Indian players)
The fifth season will see a reduction in the salary cap for ISL clubs from INR 18 Cr to INR 17.5 Cr.
Transfer fees paid for player purchases will be added and transfer fees received in player sales will be deducted from the salary cap.
3) The concept of reserve teams and youth teams is set to continue next season, with all ISL clubs required to have a reserve and youth team comprising of players other than the ones in the main squad.
Additionally, the clubs are also allowed to change the registered domestic players after every fifth ISL match (excluding playoffs) and 24 hours before the next game. This means that an Indian player can be added/removed from the squad after the club's fifth match, tenth match and so on.
4} The ' marquee player ' concept is also set to continue in the 2018-19 season. If a club chooses to sign a marquee player (approved by the ISL), his salary will not be included in the salary cap.
5) Foreign players who have played at least 1000 minutes in the fourth season of ISL are automatically approved. In case of an injury to a foreign player that rules him out of action for at least two months, he can be permanently replaced in the squad with the league's approval.
The full list of players under contract and their salary details are to be submitted by September 1, 2018.