The Goa Football Association has received another proposal from a Kolkata-based firm.

It looks like Akshay Tandon is taking a serious note of his own article, “Mission 40” on LinkedIn. The FC Goa owner has always been talking about revamping Goan football and has finally proposed a full-fledged helping hand to the Goa Football Association, to get the title sponsor and also broadcast the Goa Professional League.

Bharti Airtel were the previous title sponsors of the Goa Professional League in the year 2014-15. Since then, Goa’s top tier has dwindled in all aspects. Meanwhile, the GFA were successful in getting sponsors for their first division league and women’s league, but it could not last long.

“Goa has the potential to be a hub for Asian football and GPL can be the best domestic league in India,” Akshay Tandon told Khel Now.

“FC Goa is one of over 160 clubs in Goa, so we are one small part of the whole ecosystem. We have submitted our recommendations to the GFA and several member clubs on ways that we can collectively improve the local leagues by implementing a model that brings in revenue which can fuel the development of the whole ecosystem. If everyone is agreeable, we are more than willing to make it happen with support from our partners and sponsors.”

“The ‘Mission 40’ is critical for Goan football to grow. FC Goa is only as good as the football platform we are built on, but if Goan football shines, then so do we,” he added.

As per the proposal, FC Goa already have the title sponsor, who can give ₹15-20 lacs per year to the GFA. This deal will also help the league to get other sponsors like associate sponsors and so on. It will also be supportive of the participating clubs in terms of finances, as they will get some percentage of the revenue from the central pool.

They have also proposed to get outstation teams, which will most probably be the reserve teams of clubs from both – Indian Super League and I-League. The said teams will be charged to play in the competitive league, funds which will be directed into the central pool. Outstation teams in the league will result in a more competitive league structure, where Goan teams will get a chance to test themselves against national talent. It will also help in player development and providing better match experience. Moreover, the Pro League will have a chance to spread its footprint across the country, which will garner higher sponsorship revenue going forward.

Goa has produced a significant number of India internationals in the past. A decade ago, half of the Indian national team used to be filled with Goan players. However, the numbers have drastically reduced in recent years. Last season, just 18 players from Goa played in the Indian Super League. Likewise, every year, at least 1-2 players are moving to the I-League and ISL directly from the Goa Pro League. The number of exports from the domestic league to the top tier would definitely increase if video footage of the matches is made available to scouts of the top clubs from the country. 

If the deal is accepted by the state association, the GPL will be streamed on an OTT app for the first time in history. As per the proposal, a three-camera HD live feed of 78 matches with highlights, graphics, replays and so on will be carried on a popular OTT app. The remaining matches will be covered through a single camera. The stream will also help the clubs to get main sponsors.

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Looking at the present scenario of the league, it is almost impossible for anyone to get official match updates. However, with this deal, the Goa Professional League will have its own verified social media page, which will give match updates and highlights, league standings, key stats, contests, top players and so on. The same page will also work towards increasing the fan engagement of the league.

When Khel Now contacted GFA General Secretary Jovito Lopes, he quoted, “It is a good indication that GPL is getting so much attention now. All I can say is that GPL is a valuable league. We have received two proposals, one is from Kolkata and other is from FC Goa, but decision will be taken only after the Executive Committee meeting. I think even GPL clubs will have a say in the decision, as they are part of the league and have done a lot for football in the state.”

Sources have also told Khel Now that the other proposal received by the GFA from a Kolkata-based firm, Parallel Sports, will give the association ₹1.2 Cr in a three-year deal. The said deal will churn out ₹30 lacs in the first season and an additional ₹10 lacs after each of the next two. However, FC Goa’s proposal looks more feasible, as it will help the league to become self-sustainable in the future.

In this deal, Parallel Sports will just give money to the GFA and broadcast the matches. However, FC Goa’s proposal provides a more revenue-based structure that will also focus on marketing strategies.

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