With the transfer window set to reopen on January 1, 201, 9Indian Super League (ISL) clubs are busy negotiating and wrapping up deals to sell and buy new players according to their requirements.
ISL clubs are restricted in their spending by what is known as the 'salary cap'. The maximum allowed expenditure for each club is limited to INR 17.5 crore this season, which is 50 lakh less than last season's figure.
Salary cap is one of the many guidelines that the ISL clubs are required to adhere to each season and a flouting of the salary cap will have harsh consequences.
If a club is found to have exceeded the salary cap, they will be fined and/or banned from signing players and/or points will be deducted.
Clubs do have the option of signing a marquee player whose salary will not be taken into account under the salary cap. If a club choses to bring in more than one 'marquee' player, the highest salary will be exempted from the salary cap.
ISL clubs are also not allowed to negotiate third-party deals with players so as to convince players to join for a lower fee. If a signing is getting paid by anyone other than the club so as to join for a lower fee, than that will also be included in the salary cap. ISL needs the clubs to notify them of any such arrangements within seven days of setting it up.
The remuneration for players who have such arrangements (but not negotiated by the club) will not be included in the salary cap. However, clubs are required to seek approval from the league and the league must be convinced that the remuneration does not exceed a fair value generally agreed in the market. If it does, the excess amount will be included in the salary cap.
The ISL did put up the salary sheets for every club earlier this season only to take it down eventually. It will be interesting to note which teams have spent the highest and whether every participant has kept their wages within the stipulated cap.