Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Kerala Blasters have the joint highest number of transfer outgoings in 2020 for Asian clubs alongside six others, according to FIFA’s Global Transfer Market Report. This further reflects the financial constraints that the Southern Indian side have had to operate within in a year that was heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown. They are currently lying 10th on the points table and have never really looked like an organised team this term.
The report also states that 24 Indian clubs had a total of 84 outgoings and 76 incomings last year. To put things into perspective, 2019 saw 68 outgoings and 108 incomings involving 29 clubs. The pandemic has had a substantial impact on a number of clubs’ budgetary allocations this season, both in the ISL and the I-League. As a result, clubs have been forced to release many of their high-wage players in order to balance books.
For the Tuskers, this manifested in the form of departures for crowd-favourites like Sandesh Jhingan and Bartholomew Ogbeche. Nerijus Valskis’ switch from Chennaiyin FC to Jamshedpur FC also raised similar eyebrows after the Lithuanian had enjoyed a Golden Boot-winning season with the Marina Machans. Similarly, the number of new players arriving in the Indian leagues has also seen a drastic drop.
However, even though there have been investments and partnerships galore for Indian clubs in the past couple of years, they are still a long way off from featuring in the top-spending Asian clubs’ list that is led by Chinese and Saudi Arabian sides. That is understandable though when you compare their net spends of 86 million and 68 million USD respectively to that of Indian clubs which amounts to a shade under one million USD.