The Indian Football League prize money has been reallocated in such a manner that the champions stand to gain up to ₹ 9.5 crores, ₹ 1.5 crore more than the last season. However, there remains a strong possibility that they many only get ₹ 6 crore, as against the fixed ₹ 8 crore allocation until last year.
There is no change in the ₹ 15.5 crore overall prize purse.
The League Winners Shield, introduced in the 2019-20 season is conferred to the table toppers. The shield winners were being presented with a cash reward of ₹ 50 Lakhs since the last two seasons.
As part of the ISL prize money reallocation, FSDL have now allocated a total of ₹3.5 crore as cash reward for the League winners in order to bring an equivalence in the prize money distribution across the five cash prize categories.
The League winners are also rewarded with the highest honour to represent India in Asia’s showpiece club football competition – the AFC Champions League. FC Goa were its inaugural winners in 2019-20.
Mumbai City FC are its current holders, having completed the ‘double’ along with winning their maiden Hero ISL trophy in 2020-21.
The Hero ISL champions, winner of the final, will now be offered ₹6 crore, which was previously ₹ 8 crore, while the runners-up will get ₹ 3 crore, which was previously ₹ 4 crore. The other two semi-finalists will continue to receive ₹ 1.5 crore each.
For calculations, here are three scenarios laid out for a club winning the League Shield:
- As table toppers, the club is guaranteed Rs 3.5 Crore.
- As added incentive, if the club goes on to win the ISL Championship, they would stand to gain a total windfall of Rs 9.5 Crore
- If finished as runners-up in the ISL final, the club would earn total of Rs 6.5 Crore
- In case the table topper finishes 3rd or 4th in the knock out competition, the club would earn a minimum of Rs 5 Crore
Significantly, the ISL is a men’s professional football league, which is one of two co-existing highest level leagues in Indian football system, along with the I-League. It is organised by All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their commercial partners FSDL.
The league currently comprises 11 clubs and during the league stage of the competition, each club plays against all the other clubs in a round-robin style. At the end of the league stage, the team with the most points gets declared the Premiers and presented with a trophy named League Winners Shield, and the top four clubs qualify for the play-offs.
The ISL 2021-22 will begin on November 19 with last season’s finalist ATK Mohun Bagan taking on Kerala Blasters FC at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.