East Bengal could be the first Indian club putting in place a salary cap. The club is looking to keep its first-team salary budget to Rs. 7 crore in 2013-14, with a maximum of Rs. 40 lakh for each Indian player and Rs. 70 lakh for every import. The plan has got the ears of other I-League clubs.
“It is a decision taken by our board and we have verbally been told to move in that direction by the company as well,” club official Debabrata Sarkar told HT on Thursday. “Whatever we get beyond Rs. 7 cr, we will invest in infrastructure,” said Sarkar. “We (all the clubs) are all guilty of letting salaries spiral out of control. The Indian football scene now has a number of overpaid footballers. We hope other clubs will come together on this.”
“The All India Football Federation (AIFF) wants to put in place a soft salary cap, that is clubs can’t spend more than 75% of their annual budget on the first team. What East Bengal are talking of is a hard salary cap... Everybody realises that we need to do something about it (spiraling wage bills),” said Chirag Tanna, general secretary of the Indian Professional Football Clubs Association, over the phone from Pune.
The AIFF’s emergency committee will meet in New Delhi on Monday to discuss among other things, the format of I-League 7 and if it will implement the 75% cap on salary from 2013-14.
For the 2012-13 season, East Bengal had a budget approximately of Rs. 17 crore almost all of which went on salaries.