The Football Players Association of India (FPAI), backed by about 200 footballers, will put forward their concerns about the draft system and unfair wages in their meeting with the Indian Super League (ISL) organizers next week.
"Many of the players are not getting what they deserve in the ISL. This anomaly must be corrected," an unnamed source, who attended the meeting of the FPAI last week in Mumbai, was quoted saying as Times of India.
There has been a growing discontent among Indian footballers about dwindling wages they have been receiving from the cash-rich ISL clubs, and the I-League clubs. The ISL introduced a budget cap for the teams in this year's draft and auction, but they are yet to bring in a salary cap.
FC Goa striker Thongkhosiem Haokip has a four-month contract worth Rs 1.8 lakh, while someone like Eugeneson Lyngdoh has a contract worth Rs 1.05 crores. FPAI will ask for a minimum salary cap of Rs 9 lakh, annually, with I-League and ISL clubs sharing the salary.
"We did some number crunching and realized that player salaries in the last five years have been dwindling. This is not a good sign," TOI's source added.
He also pointed out that there is disgruntlement about a selected few being auctioned, while others are sold in the draft. This season as many as 114 players featured in the draft, from which 40 players were brought, while 10 players were sold at the auction for mind-blowing amount of money.
"The demand will be to have auction or draft for all players. You cannot have auction for some and draft for the others. It's unfair.
"The player-retention policy in the ISL is against FIFA rules. According to ISL guidelines, a player cannot negotiate with another franchise— despite the end of his contract —if he is offered 90% of his previous contract. It ties him down and if they cannot agree, the player has to go into the draft at a price that is determined by the organizers," said the source.
ISL had also limited the number of domestic players the clubs can sign to 14, and the FPAI would suggest the organizing committee to raise this limit.