What are the causes for this situation ? Lets see
Once I heard a story that a famous East Bengal footballer, after a very successful football season, was cajoled by his friend, a Mohun Bagan player to ask for a hefty raise in the upcoming season. The player mastered enough courage and went to meet Late Jyotish Guha, but, just by looking at his face, all his bravery evaporated. All he could ask was some ‘more days leave’ so that he can join the club stronger. Jyotish Guha was no fool, he understood immediately and since he was happy with the performance, allowed the extra leave with a reward of Rs.200/-. The player left beaming with joy. Those times, India played Olympics, won Gold at Asian Games, won Mardeka and was a real power in Asia level.
Cut to the present. Our player’s demand is shooting through the sky, India’s FIFA ranking going down the drain, from one of the top Asian teams to a languishing 26th rank in Asia and a lowly 150-160 bracket overall.
What are the causes for this situation ? Lets see :-
Some of the clubs have signaled that they are going slow this year, unable to increase their budget and thereby looking for other options. The question is, the clubs which are spending big now, can they sustain it ? The answer is NO. The market is volatile, with factors like decrease of the value of rupee, increase in fuel price, change in climate etc., recession like situation will come again and again and force the sponsors to either make their purse tight or make it smaller. Some teams have already lost their sponsor or have got signal to cut the budget. How these teams would survive the sudden splurge of demand from the players ?
By going to the roots. There were several under height tournaments, school tournaments, college tournaments organized by people at their own expense or even by IFA. Many of these tournaments have stopped. These are the source from which players are ‘spotted’, if IFA cannot, let the clubs make a forum and start them. Let them have an understanding of how they would take the players, if chosen. There are several people who are coaching at the village level or town level, let the clubs extend their support to them. Its always cheaper than setting up an academy. East Bengal has already opened a football school, let it spread its wings to the local clubs and schools which have got facilities. Let them start with the International schools at Kolkata which have their own big grounds where children from well to do families, who are well nourished, have enough protein, vitamins, iron (and maybe more fat than required), have a go on the ball.
The initial intent would be to bring a large number of children under the umbrella. Its like finding gold from dust, but atleast you will get 1 or 2 golden boys and 4-5 silver linings if the system starts working.
Its high time the clubs start from the scratch, otherwise, if this disturbing trend continues, where a player is paid 8 times his value (as reported by an established news paper), the clubs would cease to exist in near future.