The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Report


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An analysis of the factors that led to the decline in Indian football from the glory years of 1950s & 1960s and a new football policy & recommendations for Indian football clubs, highlighting the socio-economic benefits in adopting the changes taking into consideration the current status of the sports infrastructure

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The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Report

  1. 1. Gokhale Institute of Politics & EconomicsThe Rise & Fall ofIndian FootballMain Guide: Dr. Rajas ParchureCo Guide: Dr. Anurag Asawa Shekhar Ibhrampurkar MA 1019
  2. 2. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football AcknowledgementAt the outset, I would like to extend my gratitude to my both myguides Dr. Rajas Parchure & Dr. Anurag Asawa for their extremelyappreciated guidance and backing throughout the course of mythesis. Interacting with them to understand better the various issues,challenges and different approaches has been truly informative andmotivating. It was their persistent counsel regarding my draft thatmade me understand, analyse and amend various aspects in mywork.Lastly, I heartily thank all the other faculty members, office staffsand my friends for their immense support. 1 Page
  3. 3. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football DeclarationI, hereby undersigned, affirm that this study has been done solely byme, as Master‟s thesis course in partial fulfilment of therequirements for the degree of the Master‟s in Arts in Economicsfrom Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune.April, 2012 Yours Faithfully Shekhar Ibhrampurkar MA II 1019We, hereby undersigned, confirm that this study has been completedby the above mentioned student independently under our guidance,only for the fulfilment of Master‟s in Arts in Economics from GokhaleInstitute of Politics and Economics, Pune. 2Dr. Rajas Parchure Dr. Anurag Asawa Page
  4. 4. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Index Current Status……………………………………...………………….....5 The Great Indian football revolution…………………………………..7 Research Methodology……………………………………...……………8 The Golden Era…………..…………………………….………………..10 The Lost Decades…………………………………...…………………...12 A New Beginning……………………………...………………………...14 Factors leading to the fall……………...………………………………16 Investment in football………………….………….……………………19o National football league……………………………….……………….20o Football clubs……………………………………………….……………21o Youth academies………………………………………………………...23o Stadiums………………………………………………………………….27 Revenue structure……………………………………………………….29o Sponsorships……………………………………………………………..31o Prize money………………………………………………………………33 Regional Biasedness…………………………………………………….34o Club locations……………………………………………………………36o National team composition…………………………………………….37 Unstable national structure…………………………………………...38 Conclusion………………………………………………………………..39 The Road Ahead...……………………………………………………….42 Bibliography……………………………………………………………...43 3 Page
  5. 5. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football“First of all, young men must be strong. Religion will comeafterwards. Be strong, my young friends… you will be nearer toheaven through football than through the study of „Geeta‟….. Youwill understand it better with your muscles a little stronger. You willunderstand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of LordKrishna better with a little strong blood in you” - Swami Vivekananda 4 Page
  6. 6. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Current StatusThe current state of Indian football in no way reflects the glory andthe strength of Indian football that once was unmatched in Asia.Although no ranking system existed in the early 19 th century, India‟sachievements cannot be ignored by simple comments or lack of dataclaims. Before we go into the detailed analysis of India‟s golden eralet‟s have a look at where Indian football currently stands.FIFA Ranking Men’s Women’sCurrent 158 54Asian 28 11Highest 94 50Lowest 165 100The Indian men‟s football team that once dominated the Asiancompetitions now languishes at 158 just 7 ranks away from theirlowest ranking of 165, which the Indian team was at during March2007 under former English manager Bob Houghton, Even in Asia theIndian team now ranks at 28 which clearly shows the dismal state ofIndian football.The women‟s team on the other hand is in a much better position,ranked at 54 in the world and 11 th in Asia.The following table shows a clear picture of the performance of theIndian football Team post 1992 when the FIFA rankings wereintroduced. Period FIFA Ranking March 2012 158 February 2012 154 January 2012 158 2011 162 2010 142 5 Page
  7. 7. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football 2009 134 2008 143 2007 143 2006 157 2005 127 2004 132 2003 127 2002 127 2001 121 2000 122 1999 106 1998 110 1997 112 1996 120 1995 121 1994 109 1993 100As can be observed from the data given above India‟s ranking hasbeen falling since the establishment of the FIFA ranking system, buta thing that shouldn‟t be ignored is the fact that the fall in ranking islargely due to the no of games the Indian football team has beenplaying each year compared to the other nations of the world. 6 Page
  8. 8. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football The Great Indian Football Revolution“The victory of Mohun Bagan, the indigenous team, in the Indianassociation football shield, held on Saturday last (July 29) has notonly been the cause of universal jubilation in the country, but hasdemonstrated that Indians are second to none in all that manlygames….. The success of Mohun Bagan has turned over a new leaf inthe history of manly sport in Calcutta. The remarkable skill, courage,and in fact, all that constitutes a good game, and of which MohunBagan has given unmistakable proofs cannot fail to evoke thesincerest applause from all lovers of football.” -The Times of India, Bombay, July 30, 1911Winning the IFA shield in 1911 by Mohun Bagan symbolized theGreat Indian revolution in football.Jatindranath Roy, Habul Sarkar, Abhilash Ghosh, Bijoydas Badhuri, Shibdas 7Bhaduri, Rajendranath Sengupta, Nilamadhab Bhattacharjee, Hiralal PageMukherjee, Monmohan Mukherjee, Sudhir Kumar Chatterjee & Bhuti Sukul.
  9. 9. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Research MethodologyTo analyse the causes that led to the fall I have divided the period inthree categories, namely The Golden Era, 1950- 1964 The Lost Decade‟s, 1965- 1991 A New Beginning, 1992- presentAs to the reasoning based on which I have divided the period into thethree specific periods, I shall explain it as I speak more on the timeperiod and give more statistics on the performance of the Indianmen‟s football team.Just to give a simple idea behind the division, the 1950s and 1960 swas undoubted the best time to be a footballer in India. The Indiannational team consisted of quality players likePradip Kumar Banerjee, Padma Shri (1990), FIFA Indian footballerof the 20 th centuryNeville D‟Souza, first Asian player to score a hattrick in Olympics,joint top scorer 1956 Olympics 8 Page
  10. 10. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballSalien Manna, Padma Shri (1971), named among the 10 bestCaptains in the world by the English FA, Footballer of themillennium by the AIFFChuni Goswami, Padma Shri (1983), Best striker of Asia (1962)Peter Thangaraj, Asia‟s best goalkeeper (1958), Arjuna award (1967)Jarnail Singh, Captain Asian All-Star team (twice)Gostha Pal, Padma Shri (1962)& many others 9 Page
  11. 11. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football The Golden Era, 1950-64India stepped into the world of international football in 1948, playingtheir first ever official international football match against France inthe London Olympics, India lost the game 1-2 but only after missingtwo penalties which might be due to the cold English weather andthe fact that the Indian team played bare foot.After the loss against France, India continued her journey playing 3successive Olympics, 1952, 1956, 1960, finishing 4 th in the 1956Melbourne Olympics, her highest finish in the Olympics, Indianforward Neville D‟Souza also became the first Indian and Asianfootballer to score a hattrick in a game in the Olympics a feat thatremained in the Indian trophy chamber for a long time.The Indian team continued their exploits winning the Asian games/Asiad gold in 1951 & 1962 and also the Quadrangular Cup four timesin a row from 1952-55.Competition Success Olympics 4th place- 1956 Asian Games/ Asiad Gold- 1951, 1962 Silver- 1954 Bronze- 1970 Asian Nations Cup/ AFC Asian Cup Runners up- 1964 Quadrangular Cup Winner- 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955 10 Merdeka Cup Page
  12. 12. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Second- 1959, 1964 Third- 1965, 1966Win Ratio: 63%Played: 49, Won: 31, Draw: 4, Lost: 14Going through India‟s record in this period clearly shows the reasonfor calling this the golden era of Indian football and analysing itseparately.The Indian football team has played in the Olympics only four timesand it was in this period, another major achievement for the Indianfootball team was the runners up position in the Asian nations cupwhich is now the AFC cup, a feat that the Indian team neverrepeated again and had failed to qualify for a long time, it was in the1984 Asian nations cup that India qualified and then in 2012. 11 Page
  13. 13. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football The Lost Decades, 1965-91As the title suggests, this was indeed a time that was lost, a periodwhere Indian football was completely ignored and the stars of thegolden generation completely forgotten.Unlike the period from 1950-64 when the Indian team dominatedAsian football and was competitive beyond Asia, this period saw theIndian team fail against Asian opponents, team whom India had oncedominated. Competitions 1982 Asian Games (Hosts) 1984 Asian Nations Cup/ AFC Asian Cup SAF Games/ South Asian Gameso Gold- 1984, 1987Taking a look at India‟s performance in competitions shows a truepicture of India‟s failing football culture, the Asian games, acompetition which the Indian team won twice and was always one ofthe favourites to win every time the competition took place in theperiod from 1950-64, but in the period 1965-91 not only did Indiannever win it again but even failed to qualify by itself, it was only in1982 that India played the tournament on account of being the hostnation.The Asian nation‟s cup which was India‟s show of strength when shewas placed second back in 1964, had now become an unconquerableterritory for India and it was only in 1984 that India had qualified forthis tournament.Win Ratio: (32%)Played: 151, Won: 48, Draw: 30, Lost: 73 12 Page
  14. 14. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballLooking at the win ratio clearly shows the drastic change in India‟schange in fortunes, a drop from a 63% win ratio to almost half of it32% in the period 1965-91.This was a critical period for Indian football, had India carriedforward the momentum that was generated by the golden generationby winning competitions and building Indians reputation in worldfootball we could have seen a different picture of Indian footballtoday, but unfortunately the potential that Indian football had wasnever recognized and the achievements of some of India‟s greatestathletes was forgotten and this occurred largely in the period 1965-91, and it is hence that this period has been analyzed separately toprovide precise inferences and caused for the fall of the giant thatonce Indian football was. 13 Page
  15. 15. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football A New Beginning, 1992- presentThe year 1991 marked a new beginning for the Indian economy withthe “New economic policy” and it also saw the introduction of one ofIndia‟s greatest footballers, not just for his on the pitch performancebut majorly for the fact that he made Indian footballers believe thatthey were in fact good enough to be playing in the best footballleagues in the world, ladies and gentleman this period was the rise ofthe sikkimese sniper and in the world of another Indian legendI.M.Vijayan “God‟s gift to Indian football”, Bhaichung Bhutia. Competitions SAARC Cup/ SAFF CupWinner- 1993, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2011Runners up- 1995, 2008Third Place- 2003 Afro Asian GamesSilver- 2003 LG CupWinner- 2002 Nehru CupWinner- 2007, 2009 AFC Challenge CupWinner- 2008A lot had changed in Indian football when compared to the period1964-91, the Indian team had again started winning competitions atAsian level, winning the Nehru cup has now become a habit for theIndian team, but some of the major achievements of the Indian team 14since 1992 till date has been the silver medal at the 2003 afro Asian Pagegames under Englishman Stephen Constantine where the Indian
  16. 16. The Rise & Fall of Indian Footballteam beat African teams ranked like Rwanda which were rankedquite higher than India.Win ratio: (37%)Played: 167, Won: 61, Draw: 34, Lost: 72Compared to the lost decades the Indian football team improved theirwin ratio slightly to 37% from the previous 32%, but in terms ofperformance there was drastic change given the many competitionvictories even if at only Asian level, the Indian team also qualified forthe 2012 AFC cup by the virtue of winning the AFC challenge cup,but the Indian team failed to make a mark for themselves in thecompetition which they were runners up back in 1964 and lost allthree of their group stage games and failed to qualify for furtherrounds. 15 Page
  17. 17. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Factors leading to the fallThe reasons that were responsible for the strangling of Indianfootball in the lost decades from 1965-91 are pretty obvious but toreally analyse the impact of each cause has been the objective of thismaster‟s thesis, but unfortunately due to lack of availability of data,incomplete records the analysis that I would present further is moreof a qualitative analysis rather than the preferred quantitativeanalysis.Many reasons can be pointed out for the decline in Indian footballfrom the glory years of 1950-64, to put it simply in worlds Lack of infrastructure, proper planning and support system for junior level footballers International exposure Government and sponsor backing Closure of popular tournaments and public sector teams Politics behind footballWere the crude reasons for the fall of Indian football but the scope ofthis thesis has been beyond such crude reasons.The factors that I have analysed in great detail in the later part ofthis report are Investment in Indian Football Revenue Structure Regional Dominance Unstable National structureAlthough various other reasons might be or should be consideredwhen talking about the decline in Indian football but specifically dueto limitations on the data available on Indian football, only the abovenoted reasons will be discussed in detail as we proceed. 16Before we go in analysing each factor presented I present a Pagecomparative analysis of two sports, cricket & football and the role
  18. 18. The Rise & Fall of Indian Footballplayed by the government, media& corporates and their attitudestowards the two sports.This is one of the most crucial elements in understanding the reasonsfor the state of development at which each of the sport has reached.Each section of society has played a part in the development of sportsin India, at one end is the cricket, which has been the favouritebrown eyed boy of all Indians including the government, media andthe corporates, their intentions and attitude clearly shown in the waycricket is managed, funded and covered in India and on the otherhand is crickets poor cousin, football, who has been ignored by amajority of the population in India.The following table aims to show the vast distinctions between thetwo sports and their culture in India. Football CricketAssociation Gatekeeper CEO The apex body for football The BCCI on the other in India, the AIFF has hand has been like a been always acting as a shrewd CEO. Knowing gatekeeper where it only where to look for decides whom it wants to resources, how to take let go and who not, it has advantage of failed to take up a opportunities and how to proactive role in the build a strong brand. The development of football in sharp management has india. lead the way for Cricket and played a pivotal role in its success.Government Indifferent Nurturing Parent The governments For Cricket, the negligence and government has always indifference to the been there. Whether it is development of football the State Governments can be observed at offering free houses for 17 multiple times during the cricketers or the Central Page history of the sport even Government rewarding
  19. 19. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football when the team has been the players even when doing well. they failed to perform.Media Mythical God Media for domestic Media has always kept its football has been like a blessing hand on the head mythical creature. All the of Cricket, with separate veterans have always TV channels becoming hoped and expected dedicated to a single media to come in and sport. support the sport but medias support for the game has never ever existed.Corporate Partner Sweetheart Corporates presence in Pouring money into domestic football has Cricket has been the always been there biggest PR/ad campaigns whether to gain mileage for the corporate in the or out of managements country. own interest in the game. 18 Page
  20. 20. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Investment in Indian FootballLooking at the tenth five year plan that covered 2003/04- 2007-08,the budget allocation for sports was $500 million, about5,00,00,00,000 i.e. 500 crores per annum for all sports in India andthis included the expenditure to spent on sports infrastructure aswell as all other expenses.For the year 2009/10 the budget allocation was $500 million butagain this was largely to finance the expenditure related to the Delhicommonwealth games and by now everyone knows the efficiency atwhich those funds were spent.To focus directly on the government expenditure on football in India,the annual budget allocation to the AIFF is presented below. Year Budget Allocation 2007/08 0.68 2008/09 0.52 2009/10 0.42 2010/11 1.25 *Rs. In CroresLooking at the figures above clearly shows the lack of interest andcommitment shown by the government of India towards thedevelopment of football in India.Since due to unavailability of investment data of prior years,investment in Indian football shall be analysed based on the growthof football infrastructure.To understand and interpret the investment in football and itsefficiency I have categorized it in the following categories. Competitions Clubs Youth Academies Stadiums 19 Page
  21. 21. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football National Football LeagueIt was in 1996/97 that an all India football league was started inIndia, prior to the national football league the only majortournaments that clubs participated in were the Durand cup Federation cup IFA Shield State football leaguesOther than these competitions, football clubs in India had no majorcompetition to take part in, also Indian football clubs got theopportunity to play against other Asian football clubs only afterestablishment of the national league in competitions such as the AFCChampions league and the AFC Cup, although the IFA shield hadforeign teams participating, it had very limited exposure with only ahandful of Indian clubs able to participate in the competition and theno of foreign teams being just about one each year.The lack of a proper national level football league was one of the mostimportant reason for the under development of a football structure inIndia. Lack of national level football league>>Under developed football clubs>>Inadequate facilities>>Unsatisfactory performance in competitions>>Absence of stable revenue streams & sponsorships>>No investment in development of clubsThe lack of a stable and a year round football league till 1995/96 wasa key reason for the lack of investment in development of the sportsat grass root level by the private sector, which in the process reflectedin the dismal growth and performance of Indian footballers in the 20period 1965-1991. Page
  22. 22. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Football ClubsTill date a total of 41 football clubs have taken part in the nationallevel league that was established back in 1995/96 under the name ofthe Indian national football league. Club Established 1 Dempo SC 1968 2 Churchill Brothers SC 1988 3 Salgaocar SC 1956 4 Vasco SC 1951 5 Sporting Clube de Goa 1999 6 SESA 1999 7 East Bengal FC 1920 8 Mohun Bagan AC 1889 9 Palian Arrows 2010 10 Mohammedan SC 1891 11 Prayag United 1927 12 Bhawanipore FC 2010 13 Kalighat FC 1922 14 Southern Samity 1945 15 Techno Aryan 1884 16 Air India 1952 17 Mumbai FC 2007 18 Mahindra United 1962-2010 19 Pune F C 2007 20 Kenkre 2000 21 PIFA 2006 22 JCT FC 1971-2011 23 HAL SC 2006 24 KGF Academy 2011 25 FC Kochin 1998-2002 26 Chirag United Club Kerala 2004 27 Eagles FC 2010 28 Golden Threads FC 2010 29 Quartz SC 1976 30 Shillong Lajhong FC 1983 21 31 Ar-Hima 1987 Page 32 Langsning 1900
  23. 23. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football 33 Royal Wahingdoh FC 2006 34 Indian Bank NA 35 Gauhati Town Club 1906 36 Green Valley FC 2010 37 Simla Youngs 1936 38 Aizawal FC 1984 39 Luangmual 1955 40 Samaleswari SC NA 41 United Sikkim 2008Looking at the date of establishments of football clubs supports myhypothesis on investment in Indian football.The fact that India didn‟t have a national level football league haddeep repercussions than one could imagine, the absence of a footballleague limited investment in the development of sportsinfrastructure in the sense that there was no incentive to inve st inbuilding new football clubs as there were hardly any competitionsthat the clubs would participate in and the possibility to break-eventhe investment seemed remote. Period No of football clubs % Pre 1964 14 37% 1965-1995 6 16% Post 1996 16 42%Of the total 41 clubs that have participated in the national levelfootball league till date, 3 are now defunct, 14 of them were createdprior to 1965, and 16 post 1996, only 6 football clubs were created inthe period 1965-96, which supports my hypothesis of the lack ofinvestment in football infrastructure by the private sector.The figures also support the hypothesis that, after the establishmentof a national level football league investment in Indian football roseand is shown in the increased number of football clubs establishedpost 1996. 22 Page
  24. 24. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Youth AcademiesBefore we go into the details of youth academies in India it isimportant to understand the importance of investing in buildingfootball youth academies and to understand their importance Ipresent a case study of Barcelona football clubs youth academy, LaMasia.La Masia: the story of Barcelonas SwordsmithIn an age when Clubs across Europe are run by American tycoons,Russian & Arab oligarchs, player transfer have become the whole andsoul of team building, the success of a Club now depends on the moneythat a Club can spend and even after millions of dollars are spentrarely has a Club enforced its domination. But in recent yearsBarcelona has redefined success and has been a Dominant Force inWorld football by winning the La Liga five times in seven years andthrice in a row, the Champions League three times in six years andBarcelona did it with the strength of the players from their youthacademy, La Masia.In 2010, La Masia achieved a record breaking honour becoming thefirst Youth academy in the World to have all three finalists forthe Ballon dOr in the same year, with Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi &Xavi Hernández, This was only the third time in the history ofthe Ballon dOr that one team has provided all three players for thefinal three positions, and the first time that all three finalists camefrom one Youth academy, Messi then became the first player from LaMasia to win the Ballon dOr , and also went on to win the FIFAWorld Player of the year.La Masia has not just benefitted Barcelona but also Spain with sevenplayer, and six of them in the starting eleven: Gerard Piqué, CarlesPuyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Sergio Busquets & PedroRodríguez when Spain won the World Cup 2010. A Reuters reportsuggested that Spains World Cup success was possibly due to LaMasia, other factors mentioned were Economic Development and luck. 23 Page
  25. 25. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballJoachim Löw, coach of Germany after his sides defeat by Spain in theWorld Cup 2010 said “how Spain plays is how Barcelona plays”.Player from the La Masia in the current Barcelona squad includeSergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Bojan Krkić, LionelMessi, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, Pedro Rodríguez & Víctor Valdés,some other notable players from La Masia playing football currentlyare Mikel Arteta (Everton), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Thiago Motta(Internazionale) & Pepe Reina (Liverpool).It all began when Barcelona legend and honorary president JohanCruyff in 1979 proposed to then president Josep Núñez to develop aYouth academy in line with the Ajax Academy. Guillermo Amor wasone of the first to graduate from La Masia, he went on to play 311League games for Barcelona, other to follow were Carles Busquets andJosep Guardiola who then became part of the Barcelona Dream Teamunder Johan Cruyff .La Masia was an old country residence built in 1702, purchased byBarcelona in 1954, La Masia was then used as a workshop for thearchitects and builders of its new stadium, Camp Nou, After theCamp Nou was inaugurated on 24 September 1957, La Masia wasclosed down, later the building was remodelled, extended andreopened as an office for the clubs headquarters but it could not keepup with the Clubs growth and it was remodelled to house a youthacademy for players coming from outside of Barcelona an then finallyconverted into what it is now.Though La Masia has been an integral part of Barcelona’s recentsuccess the credit must also in large go to current manager JosepGuardiola. It was back in 2007 when Guardiola was appointed thecoach of Barcelona B when the team was relegated to the fourth tier ofSpanish football and was in complete disarray, by the time Guardiolahad completed his reorganization, Barcelona B was playing in thesecond tier Segunda, the top-tier for a reserve team. La Masia thenmade a name for itself with Barcelona B’s success thanks to the 24strength of home grown players, The Daily Telegraph claims that La PageMasia has replaced the fabled Ajax Academy as footballs foremost
  26. 26. The Rise & Fall of Indian Footballproduction line. In over 30 years of it inauguration LA Masia hasprovided for more than 500 youngsters from all over the world butmostly from Catalonia & about 10% of them have made it to theBarcelona first team.Guardiola was later appointed the Manager of Barcelona to replaceFrank Rijkaard in 2008/09. Guardiola guided Barcelona to aSpanish treble in his first Season, a first in Spanish football historyand also became the youngest manager then to win the ChampionsLeague. Guardiola continued his winning ways with two La liga’s, 2Champions Leagues, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA super cup and aFifa Club World Cup.Guardiola & Barcelona have shown the importance of building ateam with home grown players rather building a team by buyingworld class player and UEFA, Michel Platini was right when he said"Barcelona represent my philosophy, not only for the game, but alsofor the training of athletes”.The following article clearly shows how a football club and a nationcould benefit from a world class football academy, to put the benefitsin bullets form Home-Grown Players Transfer Fee Gains/ Savings Domestic fan base Club Performance Trickle-down effect on the national team performanceNow taking a look at the youth development programs in India, themajor youth academies in India are Tata Football Academy*, 1987 JCT, 1998 25 Sesa, 1999 Page
  27. 27. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Pune FC, 2011 Mohun Bagan AC, 2003, 2009 DempoIn a country with 1.2 billion people India lacks the number of youthacademies to develop football at grass root level in India, with just ahandful of youth academies India has a severe shortage of mediumsto develop football talent in India. Ironically none of the footballacademies that exist in India are financed or managed by thegovernment to make matters worse only a handful of clubs thatparticipate in the National league have their own academies which isagain opposite of traditional football club culture around the world,on average almost all football clubs in major football nations havetheir own football academies to provide for youth talent.Taking a closer look shows that only one football academy namely theTata football academy was established in the period 1965-91 whichagain supports put hypothesis of lack of investment in the lostdecades and the hypothesis that the establishment of a nationalleague incentivised investment in football in India. 26 Page
  28. 28. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football StadiumsThe next major components of football infrastructure are thestadiums. According to traditional football club culture football clubsnormally own their own stadiums but in the Indian context thetrends changes again, none of the 41 football clubs that have till dateparticipated in the national league own their own football stadiums.The national football league is played at the following six venues allbuild by the government. Of the 6 venues only 2 are certified by FIFA& AFC for the facilities and condition, another thing to notice is thefact that the two venues that are certified were only recentlyupgraded and renovated.Stadium Location Capacity Pitch Tenants TypeBalewadi Pune 20,000 Grass Pune FCSportsComplexJawaharlal Kochi 60,000 Grass Chirag UnitedNehruStadiumFatorda Margao 27,300 Grass ChurchillStadium Brothers, Dempo, Salgaocar, Sporting Clube de GoaSalt Lake Kolkata 1,20,000 Astro Mohun Bagan,Stadium turf East Bengal, Palian Arrows, Prayag UnitedBangalore Bangalore 15,000 Astrot HALFootball urf 27Stadium Page
  29. 29. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballJawaharlal Shillong 25,000 Grass Shillong LajhongNehruStadium 28 Page
  30. 30. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Revenue StructureBefore we go into analysing the revenue structure of Indian footballclubs it is important to understand the working of a football club i.e.the business cycle of football clubs. Crowd Performance Support Future Sponsorships Prospects InvestmentsAs the business cycle clearly shows good performance by footballclubs in the sense that winning matches and competitions willincrease their fan base which will make them attractive destinationsfor investments by corporates and gain sponsorships, this in turn willincrease the revenues of the football clubs by which it can reward itsplayer with high salaries, better non playing staff and other facilitiesand also make available funds to invest in developing and attractingyouth talent at the football club which would in the future translateinto better performance and thus the cycle would continue.Given below is the breakdown of revenues of English, Italian andGerman football clubs. English Italian GermanCommercial 28% 25% 53% Match Day 35% 14% 25% 29Broadcasting 37% 61% 22% Page
  31. 31. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballNow taking a look at the break down of revenues of Indian footballclubs. Commercial No Club store/ Café/ Commercial Infrastructure No Merchandising Minimal sponsorship revenues Match Day Revenues 0- negligible Season Ticket Sales Ticket Price: Rs.50-200 Average Attendance: 3913 Broadcasting 2007: Zee Sports 10 year deal, Terminated in 2010 2010/11: TV deal only for Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, United Sports Club 2011/12: Ten Sports, Live Telecast: 75/182 Games (41%) Defunct Clubs Mahindra United (2010) JCT (2011) FC Kochin (2002)This clearly shows how Indian football clubs struggle to make endsmeet, Indian football clubs do not have a stable revenue structure.Indian football clubs unlike other football clubs have negligiblematch day and broadcasting revenues unlike their Europeancounterparts who have these sources contributing a major part oftheir revenues. 30 Page
  32. 32. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football SponsorshipsIn terms of commercial revenues again Indian clubs struggle toattract sponsors and a major reason is their performance which againis a function of investment in football.Although the trend has been changing in recent times, still Indianfootball clubs have a long way to go in terms of becoming profitable.It is estimated that 80% Indian football club revenues come fromsponsorships, given below are the sponsorships of some major footballclubs in India. Air India- Air India, Star Impact Chirag United- Chirag Computers Churchill Brothers- Churchill, Adidas Dempo- Dempo, Nike East Bengal- Kingfisher, Nivia, Bluechip Projects, Saradha Realty, CMRI, Pearless, Rose Valley HAL- HAL Mohun Bagan- McDowells, Adidas, Amra Remedies Mumbai FC- Ten HD, Adidas Palian Arrows- Palian Prayag United- Prayag Group Pune FC- Piramal Group, Peninsula, Adidas, Infosys, HerbalLife, Golds Gym Salgaocar- Salgaocar Shillong Lajhong- Aircel, Adidas, Kingfisher Sporting Clube de Goa- Models, Adidas 31 Page
  33. 33. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballAs can be seen clearly most of the major Indian clubs fail to attractgood sponsors and have been struggling to balance their annualstatements. 32 Page
  34. 34. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Prize MoneyGiven below is the prize money structure of the national league. Prize Money Winner – Rs.50,00,000 Runners up- Rs.28,00,000 Rs.2,50,000 for participation in U19 League Rs.2,50,000 for Administrative Staff 90% Gate Receipts Rs.35,000 for Match winAs can be clearly seen from these numbers, the prize money isnegligible in terms of the expenditure the football clubs undertake inthe running the club.A under prized competition fails to attract competition which in turnaffects the visibility and exposure of the competition and this in turnaffect the competitions sponsorship which then affects the prizemoney. 33 Page
  35. 35. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Regional BiasednessA key factor behind the dismal state of Indian football has been thelack of fan following in the sport. Unlike traditional football clubswhich have huge fan following which result in better sponsorships,Indian football clubs fail to attract the attention of the majority of thepopulation.This has been a constant phenomenon in Indian football, there havealways been only a handful of football clubs and some particularregions where there had been a strong fan base in India, the rest ofthe country had been literally ignorant of the sport in India.The most important parameter based on which a clubs fan base canbe measures is the success that the club has achieved. It has beenobserved traditionally that clubs based in Goa and Bengal havealways had a stronger fan base as compared to all other clubs in thecountry, to understand the reason behind this phenomenon let‟s lookat the success stories of the Goan & Bengal clubs. Season Winner 1996/97 JCT FC 1997/98 Mohun Bagan 1998/99 Salgaocar 1999/2000 Mohun Bagan AC 2000/01 East Bengal 2001/02 Mohun Bagan 2002/03 East Bengal 2003/04 East Bengal 2004/05 Dempo 2005/06 Mahindra United 2006/07 Dempo 2007/08 Dempo 2008/09 Churchill 2009/10 Dempo 2010/11 Salgaocar 2011/12 Dempo 34 Page
  36. 36. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football National Level Football League Winners Goa: 7 Bengal: 6 Maharashtra: 1 Punjab: 1 Last 5 Seasons: GoaIt can be clearly seen from the above numbers why the Goan andBengal clubs attract such strong fan support. Of the 15 seasons ofnational football league that took place till date 13 have been won byclubs based in Bengal and Goa. NFL: Mohun Bagan (3/11), East Bengal (3/11), Dempo (2/11) I League: Dempo (2/5) Federation Cup: Mohun Bagan (13/33), East Bengal (7/33), Salgaocar (4) Durand Cup: Mohun Bagan (18) IFA Shield: East Bengal (27)The above statistics clearly show why only a handful of football clubs,the likes of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal & Dempo have managed toattract strong fan support and sponsorships. 35 Page
  37. 37. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Club LocationsAnother factor that has also influenced regional dominance in Indianfootball is the locations of the football clubs. Overall Post 2000 North 1 (3%) 0 South 7 (18%) 5 (36%) West 11 (29%) 4 (29%) East 10 (26%) 2 (14%) North East 9 (24%) 3 (21%)Not only have most of the successful clubs based in the west (Goa)and the east (Bengal) regions but also in absolute terms majority ofthe clubs are based in these regions.To further look into this factor of regional dominance Football Clubs in only 13 states No clubs in Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP, UP, Bihar, AP, etc. 15 states 36 Page
  38. 38. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballNational Squad Composition State wiseo Goa: 13o Bengal: 12o Maharashtra: 4o Sikkim: 1 Club wiseo Dempo: 5o Salgaocar: 3o Churchill Brothers: 4o Mohun Bagan: 6o East Bengal: 4o Prayag United: 1o Palian Arrows: 1o Pune FC: 3o Air India: 1o United Sikkim: 1These statistics clearly show that specific regions have dominatedfootball in India and this has led to the uneven growth of the sport inIndia. The fact that there clubs from only 13 states have participatedin the national league show the ignorance that exists in indiarelating to the sports and this in turn has been hampering thedevelopment of the sport in the country. 37 Page
  39. 39. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Unstable National StructureOne of the major reasons for the decline or the stunted growth ofIndian football has been the absence or rather the unstable structureof Indian football competitions especially the national league.The absence of a national league has been a major reason for thestunted growth of Indian football in the period 1965-91. The absenceof a national competition affected the investment in the sport whichin turn affected the development of talent which was then the keyreason for the dismal performance of the Indian club and nationalfootball teams in domestic and international competitions.To take a look at the unstable structure of competitions in India let‟stake a look at the changing pattern of the national league since itsinception in 1995/96.  National Football League  1996/97- 2 Stage, 12 Teams  1997/98- 10 Teams  1998/99- 2 Stage, 12 Teams  1999/2000- 2004/05 - 12 Teams  2005/06-2006/07- 10 Teams  I league  2007/08: 10 Teams  2008/09: 12 Teams  2009/10- 2011/12: 14 teams  2012/13- Expected to Change In the 15 seasons of the national league, the competition has been changed 8 times. This structural inconsistency has affected the 38 performance of clubs as well as sponsorships. Page
  40. 40. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football ConclusionIt was the victory of the Mohun Bagan team in 1911 that sparked thefootball revolution in India through Bengal and till date Kolkataremains the Mecca of Indian football.The football revolution that followed the first victory by an Indianteam over a foreign team which then went on to win the IFA shieldled to an outburst of talent in Indian football with fantastic playersand coaches. This outburst of talent is clearly seen in the golden eraof Indian football in the period 1950-64 but the post this periodIndian football saw a steep decline and it was only after 1992 thatIndian football started to recover from a long period of ignorance.India doesn‟t have the talent or the resources to make the scoreboardshine, we lack quality at each section of the field, but we certainlyqualify to be a team or a nation gifted with decent sporting talent.The Indian football national team is not going to qualify for the worldcup if we do not let go of our obsession with the problems at the grassroot level structure. Our biggest problem is not that we haven‟t gottalent but rather that we fail to use optimally what lies in ourbackyard, we think only a super talent can change our fortunes andfor his birth we wait, we hope for the next Maradona or Pelé to beborn in India and so we keep dreaming.The key ingredient to winning games in sports is not talent, its teamwork, a word that only stays on our drawing boards and ourcriticisms.Why is Barcelona the best team in the world at the moment? Andwhy is Manchester city the most hated club in the world? wellBarcelona‟s got Messi is what everyone would think, everyone fails tosee what a wonder pep Guardiola has built, the Pique-Puyol wall indefence, Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets creating magic in the midfield,everyone fails to see the chemistry he‟s build in the team, Barcelonafor me is the best way to define a team willing to die for each other 39and Manchester city is what you get when you get inspired my Bill PageJames‟s work on baseball. Statistical analysis is a great way to build
  41. 41. The Rise & Fall of Indian Footballteams and predict the future but it‟s important to put heart intonumbers because football isn‟t just about how many goals you canscore or concede… it‟s about grits. You can‟t just buy eleven playerswho will concede the least and score the most goals, you have to buildsuch a team and it can be done without a monstrosity o f talent youjust need to make the right moves.Remember Greece winning the Euro, take a look at teams likeEverton who have always been in the top ten in the Premier Leagueconsistently, better yet take a look at Newcastle this season, theyhaven‟t got best talent in England but yet youd find them in the top6, wonder why?Getting back to India, we cannot build a thousand youth academiesto develop talent from its birth, nor can we improve theorganizational structure to match the world‟s finest, what we can dois rather than adopting the world acclaimed formations or matchstrategies and instead of running after the football culture ofsuccessful nations and try to replicate their models, build a culture ofour own use statistical analysis and mix it up with somepsychological fine tuning.We haven‟t got world class technique at our disposal but we can wingames just by simply improving the team passing rate and for thatyou get back to the magic word team chemistry, yet again ratherthan pushing all eleven players at one go, tear the team in to piecesand then aim at efficiency. Develop the center backs-goalkeeper,winger-full back, center midfielders and lastly the forwards unitsseparately and then fit all the pieces together, it is easier for playerto get close and adapt to another if it done one at a time than tryingto make all eleven sing the same tune together at the same time. Ateam that makes the least mistakes is the team that wins, improvingefficiency & and accuracy or rather simply, error minimization mustbe out motto.India cannot play like world-class teams but we can always ensure 40we make less or as many mistakes as a winning team. Page
  42. 42. The Rise & Fall of Indian FootballFor too long now has the Indian football economy been ignored as amarket to be invested in & monetized, the lack of talent & interestbeing the expressed and obvious reasons but the 21 st century hasbrought with it the much anticipated and desperately needed changewith increased and rapid rise in interest in the sport that oncebrought glory to this mighty nation, Investment in the sport is on therise with the incentive to commercialize and position brands in a 1.4billion strong economy attracting worldwide interests.Indian football is on the rise and before making ambitious plans for abright future of Indian football it is essential to understand thereasons that led to the decline in Indian football and this has beenthe primary objective of this master‟s thesis. 41 Page
  43. 43. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football The Road AheadIndian football seems to be heading for a brighter, and some of thefactors that promise a better tomorrow include Proposed Bid for U17 FIFA World Cup 2017/2019 National Level League- New Format Based on the lines of Major League Soccer (USA) Proposed two tier 16 team League to be announced on 20 th April Youth Development Programs FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, etc. have already made investments in India in the form of commercial structures and youth academies with more to follow. Increased Sponsorships & Corporate culture Pune FC, Mumbai FC have been at the forefront at present in attracting corporate sponsorships and have also been the pioneers in professional management of the club. 42 Page
  44. 44. The Rise & Fall of Indian Football Bibliography Books History of Indian Football by Nirmal Nath A Social History of Indian Football: Striving to Score by Boria Majumdar, Kausik Bandyopadhyay Stories from Indian Football by Basu J Websites Articles Talent Identification and Development in Indian Football by John Hammond From recreation to competition: Early history of Indian football Uncovering the Sleeping Giant syndrome: India in Olympic football by Kausik Bandyopadhyay Goalless, the Story of a Unique Footballing Nation by Majumdar, Boria, Bandyopadhyay, Kausik. 1911 in Retrospect: A Revisionist Perspective on a Famous Indian Sporting Victory by Kausik Bandyopadhyay Triumphs and Disasters: The Story of Indian Football, 1889-2000 by Novy Kapadia How Gavaskar killer Indian Football by Satadru Sen 43 Page