Sad State Of Football Clubs In India




Football Clubs in India

Football Clubs in India

Indian football is definitely losing the little charm it had gained. Recently JCT has decided to disband and fold off its team. It was not very shocking news as even Mahindra United decided to discontinue its football team last year.

It was a very sad end to a wonderful team who had given many illustrious players such as Inder Singh, Parminder Singh, G.S. Parmar, Surjit Singh, Kuljeet Singh and Harjinder Singh etc. The Punjab team had not been faring well lately and the decision could be triggered by the club’s relegation this year in the I-League.

JCT was formed in 1971 and became one of the most acknowledged clubs in the country. It has been working at the root level to produce good players and build a top class team. It has won the inaugural Football League in 1996 where it amassed widespread public interest. It was a great crowd puller at the important tournaments too.

After this decision former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia feels that more and more clubs will go the Mahindra United and JCT way and disband themselves unless they are made better “commercial entities”

He was a player with JCT when it won the inaugural National Football League and apparently it was the golden period for JCT. Bhutia, Vijayan, Jo-Paul (Ancheri), Carlton Chapman, Tejinder Kumar formed the core members. It was a start studded affair completely. They have been spending lot of money for years but they seem to be getting minimal returns only.

There is lack of fan base for both the teams and it might be the reason for dissolving of the teams. Bhutia feels that unless the teams become a private limited company, it is difficult to develop a fan fallowing. When the fans are attracted to the stadium, then the sponsorship will come right behind it. He asks the AIFF also should do their part to generate good revenue for the teams which can come through television rights. It might keep the sponsors interested for a longer period of time.

Speaking about the Argentina vs Venezuela match in Kolkata, he said that it will improve the popularity of the game only temporarily. The AIFF must search for potential sponsors and also mention to them that for the benefits of the investment, a lot of work has to be done and it is a long way to go.

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Monica Mishra

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