KOCHI: Kolkata club Mohammedan Sporting has acquired stakes in one of the Kerala Super League (KSL) franchises announced here on Saturday. Partnering World Com Media Solutions, Mohammedan Sporting - who have a decent fan following in Kerala - bid successfully for the Thrissur franchise of the football competition for an eight-year value of Rs 4 Crore.
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who is likely to be associated with KSL as an ambassador, announced four of the eight franchises in the league conceptualised on the lines of the Indian Super League. Thiruvananthapuram was taken by Carpus Synergy Consortium led by Denise Jacob for Rs 60 Lakh per year while Kozhikode and Muvattupuzha were won by Oman-based NRI Nabeel Najeeb and Muvattupuzha FC respectively for the same amount as Thrissur - Rs 50 Lakh per year.“The remaining four franchises would be announced in another week or so,” said Bhaswar Goswami, executive director of the Kolkata-base Celebrity Management Group (CMG), who have purchased the rights to organise and operate the league from the Kerala Football Association for a period of eight years.
“We received multiple bids for each franchise. Therefore, we had to look at every detail before finalising the franchises. Malappuram received the most bids, more than five. We are considering the possibility of having two teams from Malappuram. Palakkad and Kasargod are the other franchises likely to have teams,” Goswami said.
Each team will be allowed to spend Rs 2 crore per season, including Rs 1 crore on player selection, with second tier players from European and Latin American leagues expected to participate. Experienced coaches will also be associated with the teams as per the AFC licencing criteria. Franchises also have to deposit 30 percent of the bid amount as a guarantee before the inaugural season. The CMG will put in around 5 Crore as organisational expenses, Goswami added. Kerala is the first state association to launch a league of its own in the footsteps of the ISL. The KSL is expected to be held over a nine-week period between March and May 2016.