FORMER INDIA CAPTAIN AND the President of Football Players' Association of India, Renedy Singh, wants the Indian Super League to be bigger, and have promotion-relegation.
Speaking to reporters at the inauguration of FPAI's new offices at Kasba, Kolkata, he spoke about the necessity of having a unified bigger ISL as the new top division league of India, after the league system is restructured in the near future,
"We need East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in ISL. And with that we need one large unified national league. ISL should be held as a bigger league."
Speaking further about the re-structuring Indian football is about to undergo, Renedy said he believed an open league system would be the best going forward,
"When you don't have relegation, the tournament loses a lot of gravity. The teams take things easy. This hurts the competition. If we want the league to be more competitive we need to have two divisions. Those who underperform at the first division will play at second division."
The FPAI has been pushing for reforms in player contracts and has taken well-defined positions on issues surrounding football players in India, including opposing the ISL Draft for which they got support from FIFPro, the global union for footballers. Their support for an open league system, which former FPAI President and Renedy's national team colleague Bhaichung Bhutia echoed in an exclusive interview with TFG, has been a driving force in the debate around how the currently split league system should be fixed.
Renedy Singh also laid out his perspective in detail at an exclusive chat with the TFG Indian Football Podcast, which you can listen to right here...
Renedy said that for FPAI the goal is to support players,
"The player contracts used to be way worse when we used to play in the late 1990s. Sometimes we didn't get paid for months because we didn't understand all the rules... we have a special team which educates players about these matters. You'll see that contractual issues will go down in numbers from now."
He also said that National Dispute Resolution Chamber (NDRC), a FIFA-backed initiative that aims to help solve contract-related conflicts more efficiently, will host a workshop in India very soon to address these issues further.