The imbroglio over I-League clubs demand to make it a legal entity continued as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and club representatives failed to reach an agreement in a meting, which was marred by "heated arguments", here on Thursday.
"The clubs asked for a resolution to be passed regarding the legal entity but they (AIFF and its commercial partner IMG-Reliance) did not, and then it reached a stalemate," one of the club's representative told PTI.
The meeting was adjourned after the concerned parties failed to reach an agreement on the issue, and it was decided to hold another meeting in the days to come.
"The clubs wanted the AIFF and its commercial partner to come to a conclusion today itself. They were adamant, but the AIFF said it will need to be discussed in its executive committee meeting. There were a lot of heated arguments and the meeting was adjourned after that."
In order to professionalise the I-League under AFC guidelines, the clubs feel the AIFF should make the league a separate legal entity.
In a meeting held here today, owners and representatives of 13 clubs met the AIFF and its commercial partners. As far as the clubs' objection to the proposed IPL-style league was concerned, a club representative said nothing has been "spelt out" regarding that.
"The IMG guys said their concept plan is only 15 per cent complete," he said.
However, a source in the know of this, said that a 10-member committee has been formed to take the plan forward. "Three members each from AIFF, IMG and clubs have been chosen to form this committee. (AIFF technical director) Rob Baan is the other member. The clubs seemed okay about the concept," the source said.
IMG's bone of contention is that the commercial potential of Indian football needs to be showcased to the world for which the sport needs to go beyond Kolkata and Goa.
The plan is to organise a pan-India city-based tournament in partnership with top European clubs. 61 matches are expected to be played over a period of 8-10 weeks.
The tournament is expected to give Indian players an opportunity to play alongside international and marquee players.
"The proposed tournament will help the Indian players in becoming household names, that is what the idea is all about. They feel it will also create revenue streams for I-League clubs and allow them to improve their earnings," the source said.
It was also decided to plan a detailed budget for the 2012-2013 I-League season. "The clubs, AIFF and IMG plan to make efforts to establish joint marketing initiatives for the I-League through a dedicated website, social media platforms to increase awareness and increase Matchday attendance by 10-15 per cent."