The sixth season of the Indian Super League will follow the trend of a gradual decrease in the salary cap for teams and also in the number of foreign players that a team must add to their squad.
1) Minimum 6, Maximum 7
Each club is required to have at least a 22-man squad but they will have the option of signing either six or seven foreign players, unlike the previous season wherein signing seven foreigners was mandatory.
The clubs will be allowed to register up to 25 players in their squad. This means that the maximum number of Indian players allowed in the squad will be 18 or 19, depending on the number of foreigners signed. And regardless of the strength of the squad, be it 22 or 25, there must be at least three developmental players (born after 1st Jan, 1999) included.
The clubs are also required to get the approval of the league for three of their foreign signings. All international players who have all played a minimum of 1000 minutes last season 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.
2) The salary cap for the fifth season of ISL is set at INR 16.5 Cr. (Foreign + Indian players)
The sixth season will see a reduction in the salary cap for ISL clubs from INR 17.5 Cr to INR 16.5 Cr.
The salary cap is the maximum overall expenditure that can be spent by a club for the inclusion of a player in the squad and it includes annual salary, bonuses, signing-on fee, etc.
While the transfer fee will not be included in the calculation of the salary cap for the sixth season, loan fees will be considered.
Also, separate arrangements may not be negotiated by the clubs, nor can they be guaranteed by the clubs to serve as an incentive for a player to sign a contract at a lower fee. If a player is receiving money from any person under a separate arrangement as a way of inducing him to play for the club at a lower fee, then that money will be included in the salary cap.
The sanction for exceeding the cap will be a fine and/or ban from signing players and/or deduction of points.
3) Clubs are also required to operate reserve teams and youth teams as per the Indian club licensing regulations with the teams comprising of players other than the ones in the main squad.
4) Clubs can sign ' marquee players' whose salary will not be included in the salary cap. If a club signs more than one marquee player, the highest-earning player's salary will not be taken into account.
Following are the deadlines that clubs have been asked to meet:
1st August 2019 - To sign a Head Coach
31st August 2019 - To submit the list of all signed domestic players including reserve players.
7th September 2019 - To submit the list of all signed foreign players, including any marquee player.
8th September 2019 - To submit all player contracts including full salary details.
20th September 2019 - To submit the full initial squad list.