The Real Footie Analyst

Hernán Crespo fetches $840,000 in auction for new Indian Football League

Hernán-CrespoHernán Crespo became the hottest property of the new Indian football league starting next month when the Argentinian fetched $840,000 (£536,000) in an auction of players and coaches on Monday.

Crespo was snapped up by the Barasat franchise of Premier League Soccer (PLS), which is modelled on cricket’s highly successful Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament and scheduled from 25 February to 8 April in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

The idea of a players’ auction was borrowed from IPL, whose success has spawned numerous franchise-based leagues in other sports across the country.

Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro went to Siliguri for £530,000, while Robert Pires of France (£511,000), the Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha (£351,000) and former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler (£338,000) went to Howrah, Durgapur and Kolkata respectively.

Five franchises collectively spent nearly £4.5m, each buying an “icon” player, two overseas footballers and a coach.

“This auction is unprecedented not only in the history of Indian football but also for world football,” Bhaswar Goswami, the executive director of the Celebrity Management Group (CMG) which is organising the league, said. “There is an expenditure cap and I must say that the franchises wisely spent their money.”

In an otherwise cricket-crazy country, the state of West Bengal is equally passionate about football. Nearly 120,000 fans gave a rousing reception to Oliver Kahn in the German goalkeeper’s 2008 Bayern Munich swansong in Kolkata and Diego Maradona almost brought the city to a standstill during his visit the same year.

Howrah will boast PLS’s most expensive coach after shelling out £143,000 for the former Portugal central defender Fernando Couto. The former Manchester City and Sunderland manager Peter Reid (Kolkata) went for £128,000.

Source: Guardian

%d bloggers like this: