Tandon spoke of sustainability while admitting that running an ISL franchise may not become profitable over the next few years
FC Goa became the first team to score 150 goals in the history of the Indian Super League (ISL) during what has been a productive season for them. The Goan franchise has the all-time top goalscorer in Ferran Corominas who has achieved the feat by playing just three ISL editions and the club’s attacking style of football has left fans enthralled.
Whether it was the Brazilian flair under the legendary Zico or the Spanish tiki-taka that Sergio Lobera imparted to his players before his exit, the club has stuck to an attacking style of football despite ownership as well as managerial switches over the years.
In a conversation with Goal, the FC Goa President Akshay Tandon stated that beautiful football remains the most important idea at the club.
“Football is a game and when you’re playing a game you should be having fun. It’s as simple as that. The football we play should not represent that we are taking it too seriously and we are not trying to go out and have a plan against another team by targeting somebody. The idea is to stay away from that approach in football,” he stressed.
“That’s what we have tried to achieve in the last three years. (We want to play football) that is pleasing to the eye. When you see people on the pitch having a great time – scoring freely, opening up the game, having lots of runs that are exciting for everybody to watch – Goa represents that.
“At the same time, we also want to show that you can have fun and still be the best athletes of the country. I am not going to be shy to say that we want to be the country’s favourite team. We want to be that one team where the whole country is like, ‘I am from here but my second favourite team is Goa’.”
ISL may see 27 games for each team in the next season and in addition, FC Goa will have to play in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Champions League. More games would mean more costs involved. In terms of sustainability, Tandon insisted that the club’s focus lies on minimising losses.
“In terms of how we balance everything out, when we started this exercise (after taking over FC Goa) three years ago, it was about competing at a higher level. In that time, we got the hang of the economics and what we want to achieve technically. We have made plans for the next five years. I would say, we have a plan until season 10. We know how much money we plan on spending and we know how much money we can recover. The hope is, over that period, we will be minimising our losses.
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“It’s not going to become profitable but we will be slowly budgeting our loses into something that becomes economically viable over a period of time,” he explained.
“With the City Football Group coming in (for Mumbai City FC) and setting some sort of a valuation benchmark, it at least gives that little bit of confidence that things are moving in the direction and overall value is being recognised by global players.
“So it’s more about the footballing journey that the country needs to take and us being one of the custodians of that journey. With that, we have to make sure that we don’t get lost fighting domestic battles. Driving up the prices of the Indian players which is not in line with the market standards, not signing an extra foreigner out of insecurity – things like that is what we have to be careful of.”