Shrinivas Dempo, the CEO of Dempo SC, has reiterated the need to keep I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) comparisons at bay and clarifies that both league’s need to be complementing each other than going at each other’s throats.
Speaking at a press conference attended by all of Goa’s leading football club’s and their dignitaries, Dempo outlined, “What we need to talk about football getting a pan India base. There is a lopsided development of football in the country. These are the things that need to be looked into than entering into too much of a debate between the ISL and the I-League. These are two independent tournaments. Both have to complement one another for the growth of Indian football.”
Regarding the investment required into the I-League, the Dempo scion outlined, “As explained earlier there are two sides. There is first the case of local marketing. This we did through a marketing agency. We did little things that you expect us to do. Eventually it’ll boil down to the budget whether Dempo SC would do the same or not."
He further expounded, “Charity can only be taken upto an extent and football isn’t charity. If it doesn’t pay you, you won’t go for it. Now, in the ISL, for going up the semi-final you get a crore and a half. That’s enough attraction. Then there’s the fan award that helps you get another crore. That’s enough incentive that’ll make you want to spend. How has this prize money come? Well it’s from the franchise itself. We do understand the relations between the franchises in the ISL.”
He stated he was willing to bring out the chequebook with regards to the I-League, but only of there was a clear method to re-coup the investment.
“Now I-League is composed of us historical clubs, who’ve come up through our merit. We can’t invest so much. We all need to brainstorm to see how a sustainability factor can be brought out. There needs to be a balancing factor. We may have under spent, we may have over spent in the last few years, but we certainly can’t spend in the I-League like we have in the ISL. How best we can develop the loyalty factor amongst I-League clubs needs to be cultured.
“I saw people fighting for T-Shirts. People asked us why we haven’t put out original FC Goa T-shirts for the franchise as they didn’t want to buy the Rupees 200 replica. They wanted to spend 3000 bucks instead of 300 hundred and that’s a loyalty factor. People still have FC Goa flags in their homes. It’s not rocket science to get that kind of support, but the funding needs to be calculated. Possibly all three of us (Sporting, Dempo and Salgaocar) need to do something like that. And now we’ve made a beginning by doing something what we hadn’t done all these years,” he surmised.
Asked if there was indeed less incentive to bolster the I-League, the former Goa Football Association president claimed, “It boils down to the same factor. You put in money, and you don’t recover it. We anyway spend so much money on the clubs such as salaries and youth development, things which cannot be ignored.
“The overall quality of the game needs to improve, and the quality of the game has improved a lot after watching the Federation Cup. There’s a big difference in what we used to watch two or three years ago and today. So, I must complement all the coaches here and the support structure the teams have got as well. We are client oriented, but the revenue model needs to be rethought. Else it’s going to be difficult for all of us.”