Indian Super League might have been launched with enthusiastic reception from the fans last year but it incurred a loss of more than Rs 100 crore in its inaugural edition with each of the eight franchises losing Rs 35 crore, the All India Football Federation said on Monday.
“The loss for each franchise ranges from Rs 30 to 35 crore, while tournament organisers (IMG-Reliance) had a deficit of Rs 100 crore,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said in Kolkata on Monday.
Another top AIFF official, however, said the loss was “expected” by the organisers and the franchises.
“Even when the IPL began, all the franchises did not make profit. All the ISL team owners were well aware that they would not make profit straightway but the good thing is that the process has started,” he added.
Organised by the IMG-Reliance with support from the AIFF, the league was launched last year to make football a top sport in India.
The first edition featured some world renowned and former players like Alessandro del Piero, Robert Pires, David James, Nicolas Anelka and David Trezeguet among others.
The 10-week tournament with eight teams has some high profile owners including cricketers Sachin Tendulkar (Kerala Blasters), Sourav Ganguly (Atletico de Kolkata), M S Dhoni (Chennaiyin FC) and celebrities like Ranbir Kapoor (Mumbai), John Abraham (NorthEast United) and Abhishek Bachchan (Chennaiyin FC).
The second edition of the tournament begins in Chennai on October 3.