ISL Governing Council presents regulations for player retention

ISL Prress release

Salary cap, player auction to be introduced 

Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL), the controlling body of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) formed through a joint venture between IMG-Reliance & Star India, held its first Governing Council meeting here in Mumbai to review the inaugural season and present player guidelines for ISL 2015. 

The Governing Council committee consists of all eight ISL participatory club representatives and officials from FSDL. 

The inaugural year of the ISL was an instant hit amongst football peers both nationally and internationally, putting India on the global football map. ISL clubs were appreciative of FSDL’s efforts in popularising the sport across the country as well as achieving a rare status of being the fourth-most watched football Leagues in the world. 

The new set of player regulations for ISL 2015 are : 


a.      The Indian Super League clubs to have players salary cap of Rs 20 crore for ISL 2015.

b.      Player Retention:


Marquee Player: Each club must have a minimum of one marquee player. Clubs can retain their marquee player from the inaugural season but are free to sign one from the open market, with prior approval from the League. 

International Players: Club can retain a minimum of one and maximum of five international players. Additionally, clubs are allowed to contract international players by themselves through the market directly. 

Domestic Players: A minimum of one and maximum of six domestic players can be retained by a club. Players who are not part of the retention list of clubs can be signed by any ISL club in the open market until April 2015. In case they are still without contract, such players will be listed in the Domestic Draft. 

c.      Minimum Squad Size: Each club is to have a minimum of 22 players, with a mandatory two developmental players in the squad. Each team would consist of one marquee, eight international and 13 domestic players including the compulsory two under-23 developmental players. 

d.      Maximum Squad Size: A club can have a maximum squad size of 25. Additional quota of three players can have maximum two international players.


Indian Super League will have an auction for Indian players who have played in the senior national team but missed out on the inaugural ISL season. Each club will be eligible to add only one such player from the auction list consisting of maximum 12 to 15 players. Those not picked through auction will form part of the Domestic Players Draft. 

Commenting on the development, an Indian Super League spokesperson said, “The new set of rules are defined to encourage clubs in player retention, assist them in managing the player costs and provide a level playing field for each club to prepare for the second season with a reasonable and broadly equitable chance of winning the ISL 2015. 

“The inaugural year of the ISL brought to fore many new faces of Indian football other than the known international names. The League encourages the Clubs to retain such players to help them build an identity and fan base.”

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