Barring an odd one or two, you don’t see the modern players doing it. Filling up seats in the China OIL COOLER stadium is a big challenge as well. Any increase on that level, which the officials are confident of securing, will then be distributed according to where a team finishes in the league.The North East contributed maximum to every club in India but due to financial instability, could not survive. That’s why the English league is so competitive and smaller clubs can afford to buy reasonably good players.India also lacks the transfer system — it’s literally non-existent. Manchester United has so many stores in India,” Novy observes.Kylian Mbappe was transferred from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain in 2018 for 180 million euros.Right on the moneyI feel these clubs have done well to allow the footballers run the game while letting the hard core professionals control the business part of it. Also, the clubs do not own stadiums of their own and are predominantly dependent on outsourced venues whose rental costs shoot up.

Probably the best deal is the UEFA Champions League (top tier European club competition) where you get money for participation and also on the number of people who watch your matches on the ground as well as TV. Sikkim United is a case in point. The oil-rich Sheikhs from the Middle East followed and poured enormous amounts to propel the clubs to an entirely different level. Broadcast companies quote stratospheric sums to tap television rights.Way behindWhile the European footballers live in the lap of luxury, their Indian counterparts can be termed, distant, poor cousins on all counts — funds, fans and fame. It was a huge achievement for us to hold them to a goalless draw,” Victor recalls. Then there is Leicester City, which went from being relegation favourites to winning the 2015-16 title and gaining worldwide popularity. Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane did not get on well with Colombia’s James Rodrigues, who was the top goal-scorer in the 2014 World Cup and so Real loaned him to Bayern Munich.

He passed away last month after his helicopter crashed at Leicester’s King Power Stadium. While Manchester United earned $140 million from its sponsorship deal last year, Barcelona and Arsenal bagged $80 million each.“Clubs look at selling a player before his contract finishes to make good money for they get nothing once he serves out his contract as he becomes a free agent.The HeavyweightsIf club football is flourishing in Europe, the roles of ultra rich businessmen from the East, starting with Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich cannot be ignored.“The finances involved are unimaginable.The modern clubs are also refurbishing their stadiums and making them business centres, like Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge where they have shops and malls which whip up rents.That looks a far cry now. Some of the English clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea — which are popular worldwide and command huge viewership — would get more money than the actual winner of the event, even after losing maybe, at the semifinal stage,” Novy says.