With its coffers running dry, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is now contemplating hiring the next national team coach at a salary that could be less than what former coach Bob Houghton received.
The South African-based Briton, under whom India qualified for the Asian Cup after a 24-year drought besides winning two Nehru Cup titles, was drawing a monthly salary of USD 30,000 (around Rs 13.5 lakh) till he quit.
The AIFF top brass however would not mind shelling out a few lakh more if the credentials of the candidate is better than Houghton's.
"In fact, the federation is looking for something that's even below Houghton's salary, but the credentials would not be compromised upon," an official today told PTI on condition of anonymity.
"But it's just a thought at this stage. If the candidate is good and matches the criteria, the federation won't mind paying him, say between USD 35,000-40,000," he added.
The official also ruled out the possibility of considering well-known names like former Argentina coach Jose Pekerman, German soccer guru Otto Pfister, Frenchman Philippe Troussier, Real Madrid assistant coach Jose Ramon and Johan Cruyff's son Jordi Cruyff.
It was reported that some of them had quoted a sum in excess of USD 1 million.
Things related to the appointment of national team's coach will be discussed when the executive committee meets at the Football House here on Friday.
"Various things and procedures need to be discussed. The probable names will be discussed in the meeting in the presence of the president, general secretary and the vice-presidents," the official said.
"Whether the interviews will be done through tele conference, skyfi or by video conference will be discussed at a later stage," he said.
According to federation sources, the emphasis will be on long-term contract with some specific targets.
"The federation suddenly cannot hire someone like the Tottenham Hotspurs' youth development coach. He is used to certain facilities which we probably don't have here, so that could lead to problems.
"According to the feasibility of the man, he will be approached."