This Monday, the six franchises of the new IPL styled soccer league put down bids for the marquee players. Fabio Cannavaro, the 38 year old former Ballon D'Or defender drew the highest bid of $830,000 and was sold to Siliguri. Roberto Pires, the former Arsenal winger most recently seen at the Emirates in yesterday's FA Cup fixture against Villa went for $800,000 to Howrah.
Hernan Crespo, the former Chelsea striker touted as the player who would draw the highest bid was accepted by Barasat after receiving no bids. Jay Jay Okocha, familiar to the Premiership while at Bolton also received no bids was snapped up by Haldia, while Robbie Fowler of Liverpool and Cardiff was taken by Durgapur.
There were a number of coaches on the auction block, chief amongst them Peter Reid, the former City and Sunderland manager who was sacked by his most recent club Plymouth Argyle in League 2 after helping pay the club's heating bill and salaries of some of the staff from his own pocket. Samson Siasia, the former coach of the Super Eagles, the Nigerian national team as well as Marco Etcheverry, the Bolivian midfielder and long time staple of DC United, were part of the group.
The most eye popping figure. Barasat franchise which was listed at a base price of approximately $162,000 was bought by Uro Infra Reality India Ltd for $50 million. That is an indication of the bustling Indian economy.
Each franchise will have one icon players, one icon coach, two overseas players, and one overseas player of Asian origin. The rest of the squad will comprise of six Indians from the U21 squads, and six 'catchment' (local) players and nine to 14 top Indian players. The auction for the top Indian players begins on Thursday.
What about monikers like the Haldia Oilers, Howrah Breezers, or the Durgapur Steelers? To jazz up the names and to bolster the franchise's identity with the place.
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