ISL 2020-21: Changes in Regulation for teams and League Structure

The new structure of the league will ensure it fits into the AFC criterion for continental competitions. Wages remain same but team can have up to 35 players.

ISL 2020-21 - Changes in Regulation for teams and League Structure
ISL 2020-21 - Changes in Regulation for teams and League Structure

Current edition of Indian Super League (for 2019-20) has been successfully concluded in Fatorda Stadium, Goa. Two times champion ATK beat Chennaiyin FC to lift the trophy. But it’s ISL table topper FC Goa team, who have qualified for AFC Champions League from top Indian league.

ISL 2020-21 will see some changes in the regulation for the teams as well as its format or league structure. Those are as following,

Squad size

The ISL 2020-21 will allow teams to have a squad size up to 35 players. This is a marked difference from concluding season where the teams were allowed to sign up maximum 25 players. The new squad strength stipulation means the teams can draft in up to 28 number of Indian players.

Foreign Player Quota

Each club will certainly have the choice of authorizing either 6 or 7 (minimum 6 and maximum 7) international gamers, however unlike the previous season, there should be at-least one from an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) country.

Wage cap

The sixth season saw a reduction in the salary cap for ISL clubs from INR 17.5 Cr to INR 16.5 Cr and the limit will be unchanged for the next season as well.  

The salary cap is the maximum overall expenditure that a club is allowed for the inclusion of a player in the squad (in a season), and it includes annual salary, bonuses, signing-on fee, etc. While the transfer fee will not be considered in the calculation of the salary cap, loan fees will be considered. 

Also, separate arrangements may not be negotiated by the clubs, nor can they be guaranteed by the clubs to serve as an incentive for a player to sign a contract at a lower fee. If a player is receiving money from any person under a separate arrangement as a way of inducing him to play for the club at a lower fee, then that money will be included in the salary cap.

The sanction for exceeding the cap will be a fine and/or ban from signing players and/or deduction of points.

League Structure

As per the new model, the 10 teams of the ISL will play total 27 games each, across the entire season. This means teams will face each other thrice, thus bidding goodbye to the traditional home-away fixtures.

Out of the 10 teams, five will enjoy the advantage of playing two home games and one away game against each opponent. Further, in the following season (2021-22), the other five teams will get the chance to play at home twice against the same opposition.

Additionally, most games will now be played over three days every week, from Friday to Sunday.