Come November, Kerala will have a new football league- one that hopes to be a path-breaking one in the country. The first Kerala Super League, featuring eight professional teams will be held in four venues in the state and will run for three months from November.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the league on Wednesday by unveiling the KSL logo in Thiruvananthapuram in the presence of I.M. Vijayan, the league’s brand ambassador. The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the KSL would take State’s football enthusiasm to higher levels.
“Finally, Kerala will have its own world-class football league,” said I.M. Vijayan. Kerala Sports Council president U. Sharaf Ali and Kerala Football Association president Tom Jose were also present.
Organised by Scoreline Sports, the KSL will be held in Kozhikode, Manjeri, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Franchise auction in May
“We will have a franchise auction in May and the players’ auction sometime in July. It will be fair and transparent. We will be giving out the franchises for 10 years,” Mathew Joseph, the CEO of the KSLand Scoreline Sports, told Sportstar on Wednesday evening.
“We are not looking at specifically somebody from Kerala to take the ownership (of teams). What we definitely want is good quality franchises, and we are looking at good corporates to participate. The KSL should be there for years to come.”
Matches in the KSL, which will include foreign players, will be played only at night and is likely to be telecast live.
“That is why we could identify only four stadiums in Kerala – Kozhikode, Manjeri, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram – these are the four large stadiums, which have got capacity as well as lights,” said Joseph.
In Kochi, the KSL matches will be held at the Nehru Stadium which is also the home ground of the Indian Super League (ISL) club Kerala Blasters, the team with the biggest fan base in the ISL and is perhaps the league’s most profitable club too.
A Rs 150-crore league
“The whole league will be worth about Rs 150 crore in various ways. But the franchise fee will be much more reasonable. Kerala is a huge consumer market, so finding sponsors for the league should not be difficult,” said Joseph.
“We will be sharing most of the ticketing revenue (with the teams) and a large part of the sponsorship amount which we will receive, also a huge part of our broadcast revenue.”
Depending on the venue, the talk going around is that the franchise fee could be in the range of Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 crore.
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