WHILE MOST ISL FRANCHISES are making singings left, right, and centre, Kerala Blasters have been inactive in the transfer market for a long time. They started well by picking up a new marquee player in ex Valencia and Spain star defender Carlos Marchena, and picked up a good midfielder and a striker in João Coimbra and Chris Dagnall. But since then they have gone mum. As August rolls on, many teams are done with their team-building and drawing up plans for pre-season. But the Kerala Blasters camp has been silent for more than a month and their squad looks incomplete on all departments.
Many of their fans, already incensed by the relatively poor performance by the franchise in the ISL Auction and Draft, have voiced their frustration on Twitter and Facebook, accusing the team's think tank of dragging their feet. Recently a disgruntled fan took out his frustration in an innovative way by editing the Blasters' Wikipedia entry to hint at the kind of signings supporters would like to see.
Although football is more than popular in Kerala, their participation in top level domestic football has gone down in recent years, with no Kerala club in either division of the I-League. Kerala Blasters remains the sole professional team in the state that features heavily on the national football landscape, and they have received immense support from local fans during the inaugural edition of ISL. But all that goodwill is being put in jeopardy by the negative reaction their fans have had towards their exploits on the transfer market.
To acknowledge their mistake and rectify it, Kerala Blasters have for the first time broken their silence on the matter, issuing an apology to their fans via Twitter. The message assures the fans of their commitment to perform well and says that they are close to making headway in the aforementioned departments:
The letter also announces the launch of their official website and Fan's Reward Program, which will further their efforts to stay connected with their fans. What else they are planning is still unclear, but we will surely know more on August 17th.
And if the long wait and the promises are anything to go by, that day may mark the re-launch of a brand new Kerala Blasters side for the upcoming ISL, complete with the unveiling of a number of crucial new signings for maximum effect. It is more than likely that despite their silence Kerala Blasters have already agreed on quite a few deals on the transfer market, and the fact that nothing has leaked out is a testament to their efficiency, not inadequacy at handling such matters.