New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid are among the owners of teams in the Indian Super League set to start later this year.
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor
The ISL, featuring foreign and Indian talent in teams based in eight cities, is due to start nationwide in mid-September and run until the end of November.
Organised by the All India Football Federation, the league is being backed by Reliance Industries and by sports management giant IMG.
Former international stars such as Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Hernan Crespo, Fredrik Ljungberg, Dwight Yorke and Louis Saha are among those who have reportedly signed up to play in the league.
Tendulkar has joined hands with Hyderabad-based investor Prasad Potluri to co-own the Kochi city franchise.
Will we see them soon? Crystal Palace cheerleaders perform prior to their EPL match against Hull City at Selhurst Park. Pic/Getty Images
"I will always remain a sportsman at heart who is keen to positively impact the sporting fabric of the nation," Tendulkar said in a statement.
"The Indian Super League presents a great opportunity to develop a platform for youngsters to learn and enhance their talent."
Rs 120 crore
The total amount the eight winning franchises will pay the organisers
The ISL presents a great opportunity to develop a platform for the youngsters to learn and enhance their talent
-- Sachin Tendulkar (Kochi)
ISL is the beginning of a movement that will revolutionise Indian soccer and uncover the true potential of the sport in our county. DEN Networks is proud to make the Indian soccer dream a reality
-- Sameer Manchanda (Delhi)
We are excited to have won the Kolkata franchise of the ISL and being the first international team to be directly owning a Club in India
-- Miguel Angel Gil Marin (Kolkata)
Football has never been far away from my daily life since childhood, and now as a partner in the ISL, I am looking forward to contributing to the growth of the sport
Ranbir Kapoor (Mumbai)
1. Bengaluru – Sun Group
2. Delhi — DEN Networks
3. Goa — Venugopal Dhoot (Videocon), Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas V Dempo
4. Guwahati — John Abraham & Shillong Lajong FC
5. Kochi — Sachin Tendulkar & PVP Ventures
6. Kolkata — Sourav Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Atletico Madrid, Sanjeev Goenka, Utsav Parekh
7. Mumbai — Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh
8. Pune — Salman Khan and Wadhawan Group
Key features of the ISL
> The Indian Super League (ISL) is being promoted by IMG Reliance and Star India under the aegis of All India Football Federation (AIFF)
> Eight teams will be featuring in the inaugural edition of the tournament which was originally scheduled for 2013
> It aims to help Indian players rub shoulders with some of the finest players in the world and stars like Dwight Yorke, Fredrik Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Louis Saha, and Hernan Crespo are likely to feature in the competition
> Although financial details of the bids were not made public, it is learnt franchies have collectively paid Rs 120 cr