The Bangladesh Super League (BSL) is seemingly in sight as Saif Powertec Ltd bought the rights to organise the inaugural franchise-based football league in November this year.
The company's managing director Ruhul Amin Tarafder signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin in this regard at a city hotel yesterday.
“Saif Powertec will organise the BSL and the football federation will act as a co-partner. We [BFF] will provide them with guidelines and they will do everything accordingly,” said Salahuddin after the signing ceremony.
The game's governing body had initially held talks with Kolkata-based Celebrity Management Group (CMG) and UK Soccer League for introducing the league in light of the Indian Super League (ISL). But after a series of meetings over the last one year, the BFF finally tied the partnership with Saif Powertec, a local corporate house with the experience of organising the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup tournament in Chittagong last year.
The BFF president had announced last November that the BFF would organise the BSL with the collaboration with UK Soccer League, CMG and Saif Powertec and there was a five-year deal signed to that accord.
“Actually we did not sign any deal with them [UK Soccer League] because they did not place any proposal while Saif Powertec placed a concrete proposal. The London-based company, however, can join if they have any concrete proposal,” said Salahuddin.
Tarafder informed that the company would provide Tk 35 crore over 15 years and share a part of the profit with the franchises.
“Regardless of the financial benefit we get from the franchises, our main purpose in organising the league is to get football out of Dhaka which we could not do through the professional league due to lack of interest from the clubs,” said Salahuddin.
It is mentionable here that the clubs of professional football league have always been struggling to form competitive squads due to a lack of quality players as the national team players are signed up by the a few title aspirants.
“There will be many foreign players in a BSL match and the clubs will now concentrate on developing their own players. The teams will not come for the championship, they will now have to think about their local players,” opined Salahuddin.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, who attended the programme as chief guest, promised that he would pursue the finance minister to keep some allocation in budget for football and wished success to BSL.
State minister for youth and sports Biren Sikder, deputy sports minister Arif Khan Joy, standing committee chairman for sports and youth Zahid Ahsan Russel, BFF's senior vice-president Abdus Salam Murshedy and other BFF high-ups were present on the occasion.