The Lazy Man's guide to becoming a PLS expert - The top 10 things you need to know about world football's biggest coming in India

Arkaprabha Chakraborty gives you a quick guide on the most important things to know about the PLS, as Indian Football's 'next big thing' is all set to be launched next month..
  • There will be six franchises to play in the first edition of Premier League Soccer. Their locations along with their stadia and their capacity are listed as follows.
    Kolkata Rabindra Sarovar Stadium 20000
    Howrah Howrah Municipal Stadium 15000
    Barasat Barasat Stadium 20000
    Haldia Durgachak Stadium 15000
    Durgapur Nehru Stadium 15000
    Siliguri Kanchanjengha Stadium 30000

  • The 35+ year old 'icon players' for the league will be World Cup winning former Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro, Arsenal legend, World Cup and Euro winner Robert Pires, Bolton Wanderers and Nigeria legend Jay Jay Okocha, former Argentina captain Juan Pablo Sorin, the man Liverpool faithful call 'God'- Robbie Fowler and former Chelsea and Internazionale striker and Argentine legend Hernan Crespo.

  • The foreign coaches are also quite well known with the likes of Liverpool's strike legend John Barnes, former Man City player and manager Peter Reid, Nigerian national team coach last year Samson Siasia, USSF outfit Vancouver Whitecaps FC's former coach Teitur Thordarson, Bolivia's legendary player-turned-coach Marco Etcheverry, 110-cap winning Portuguese Fernando Couto, who will be tested in managerial waters for the first time here and former Bolton, Derby and, most recently, Darlington manager Colin Todd.

  • There will be a grand auction where franchise owners will be required to bid for: One Icon player (from overseas), One coach (again from overseas) and Three foreign players ('Category-A' players and others) players. The base price of icon players is $500,000 to $800,000. The base price of overseas 'Category A' players is $200,000 while for the  other overseas players is $100,000. The Player auctions will take place every year and coach auctions will take place every three years.

  • For this season, each team has a budget cap of $2.5 million for buying players. Franchises can buy players through the annual auction, through the trading window for players not sold at the auction, signing players from other franchises, from their own academies or, in the case of U-21 and catchment area players, through trial camps.

  • The franchises must have a minimum of six U-21 players and a minimum of six 'local' (i.e. from the catchment area) players. They can be brought in from local academies and training camps. Note that this six and six rule is overlapping. (i.e. a player who is both local and under 21 fills one name in both categories)

  • They have a maximum of fourteen slots for players from anywhere else in the country, which, again overlaps with the U-21 rule, if franchises want to take advantage of that.

  • The PLS have a similar rule as the I-League with regards to the number of foreign players. Four foreign players in the squad out of which three can be on the field. The rest of the squad comprise of Indian players. But it also states that a minimum of one local player and one U-21 player must be in the starting XI. Also, sides can name seven substitutes.

  • It will be a seven week tournament where the first five weeks will hold league format games with each team playing ten games, five at home and away each. The top four teams then qualify for the semi-finals which will be a two-legged home and away affair. This will take place in the sixth week. The final will take place in the seventh week of the tournament.

  • And since clubs are expected to create their own crests, kits and theme music, the general public COULD just expect a contest to be thrown open to design all of these, depending on what the franchise owners decide to do. Expect a lot and more to be coming your way!

How excited are YOU about this wild two-month long ride coming your way? Drop in with a comment below.

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