I League CEO, Sunando Dhar cleared that there will be only one top division league from next season onwards with no relegation and promotion in first few seasons.
Sunando Dhar said,“The aim is to have a proper structure in place where there will be one league at the top, followed by the second and third divisions. We are simply focusing on one-league structure. However, promotion and relegation could be difficult in the next season because there are contractual obligations and it will be difficult for us to rub those out. Once the contractual obligations are taken care of, relegation and promotion would start.”
Sunando Dhar also confirmed that Kolkata giants, Quess East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan will be part of top division. This is what he said about this, “Bagan and East Bengal are the two biggest clubs in the history of Indian football and I am sure they will play in the top division.”
He also stated that there wouldn’t be any different treatment meted out to the I-League clubs as compared to ISL franchises. Like ISL, I-League is also an AIFF property.
After asked about franchise fee is ISL, he said “We know that I-League clubs don’t work on a huge budget but then financial stability is important for not only I-League clubs but also ISL clubs. Worldwide, the maximum money comes from TV rights. But it’s not the case in India. So we are working on getting the perfect model which will be financially viable.”
He also said that I League attendances have increased this season as compared to last season.
It will be interesting to see how things shape up and which teams will be added to new top division league apart from Quess East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan.