There are various metrics to judge which is the most valuable club in ISL, a tournament that has only prospered in recent years. Since its inception in 2014, India’s premier football competition, the Indian Super League (ISL) has taken massive strides. Although it began with plenty of celebrity firepower and fanfare, with the likes of actors Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, and John Abraham owning Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC, and NorthEast United FC respectively as well as various popular sportsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Virat Kohli owning Kerala Blasters, Atletico de Kolkata, and FC Goa, the league has strived to find sustainability instead of short-term success.
ISL team owners have actively tried to push the envelope for professionalism and raise the standards of football in India. Popular world football figures like Zico, David James, and Elano have also played a fundamental role in ISL’s success which continues to grow year after year.
The increase in the value of the Indian Super League as a whole has also been directly proportional to the rise in investment by clubs as well as increasing popularity via social media and other channels. Despite being only eight years old, some of the clubs in ISL have amassed massive followings that can rival any big Asian team.
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But which is the most valuable club in ISL? Let’s find out!
Most valuable club in ISL: List of teams
|First season in ISL
|Best finish in ISL
|2014 (founded as Delhi Dynamos)
|5.72 million dollars
|Sixth (as Odisha FC)
|ATK Mohun Bagan
|2014 (merger with ATK)
|5.34 million dollars
|5.34 million dollars
|Mumbai City FC
|5.31 million dollars
|5.31 million dollars
|4.51 million dollars
|4.51 million dollars
|4.32 million dollars
|4.24 million dollars
|4.24 million dollars
|3.93 million dollars
Odisha FC | 5.72 million dollars
Although Odisha FC had a difficult start to life, given that they were formed out of the diluted Delhi Dynamos team following the relocation of the base from the national capital to Bhubaneshwar, it might be surprising to see them top the list. However, upon being sold and relocated, multi-billion dollar company GMS acquired a 100% stake in the club in 2016.
They instated Raj Athwal, former commercial head of Rangers, Watford, and Coventry City as the club president. Former Spanish superstar David Villa, who is also the founder of premium consulting agency DV7 Management, is the technical advi sor and the head of global football operations. Their value has also increased tremendously following sponsorships from the Reliance Foundation, grants from the government of Odisha and Odisha Tourism as well as a three-year tie-up with Watford FC in the Premier League.
Odisha FC decided to appoint former Spanish player Kiko Ramirez as their manager in 2021. They ended the season in seventh place with 23 points. Brazilian forward Jonathas and Spanish midfielder Javi Hernandez are the most valuable players on the Odisha FC roster. They are yet to reach the playoffs of the Indian Super League, although they had qualified for the semi-finals as Delhi Dynamos in 2015 and 2016.
ATK Mohun Bagan | 5.34 million dollars
The controversial merger between ATK (formerly known as Atletico de Kolkata) as well as legacy club Mohun Bagan grabbed the headlines of the Indian football scene and continues to draw the ire of the Mariners faithful. With that being said, the inclusion of the name of both the clubs in the final name of the merged entity had a lot to do with brand value and recognition.
The RP Sanjiv Goenka group, who had co-owned ATK with Sourav Ganguly and Utsav Parekh, are the majority stakeholders in ATK Mohun Bagan FC while Mohun Bagan holds 20%. The other sponsors include jersey sponsors SBOTOP, Nivia, TV9 Bangla, MP Birla Cement among others. Roy Krishna, Hugo Boumous, and David Williams are three of the most valuable players in the ATK Mohun Bagan squad.
Although ATK Mohun Bagan have been immensely successful, finishing runners-up in 2021 and making it to the semi-finals in 2022, the big fanbase of Mohun Bagan continues to be at odds with the club management because of the tampering of history as well as with the name of the club.
Founded in 1899, Mohun Bagan is one of the oldest football clubs in India and Asia and their legendary victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in the 1911 IFA Shield final had also played a fundamental role during India’s push for independence against the British rule.
Bengaluru FC | 5.34 million dollars
Bengaluru FC have been one of the most consistent sides in Indian football over the last decade and their extremely professional approach has not only brought them success but has also revamped the way clubs act, train, and play in India now.
Bengaluru FC had humble beginnings as in March 2013, it was officially announced that JSW Group had won the rights to form a direct-entry team for the 2013–14 I-League season in Bangalore, which would be done through the sports branch, JSW Sports. They also ended up setting up a youth academy in Bangalore and constructed new infrastructure and facilities.
BFC also have a fierce and loyal fanbase in India called the West Block Blues. Thanks to their consistent success in the I League as well as the Indian Super League, Bengaluru FC’s stocks have continued to grow year after year. They are two-time I League champions and one-time ISL winners. Bengaluru’s value has also grown thanks to partnerships with kit sponsors Puma, shirt sponsor JSW as well as the likes of DafaNews, ZebPay, and Nissin.
Bengaluru FC has one of the biggest salary caps as their roster boasts Indian football constants like Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Mumbai City FC | 5.31 million dollars
City Football Group, which famously owns Premier League side Manchester City as well as a flurry of top football clubs around the world, decided to invest in Mumbai City FC and acquired a majority 65% stake in 2019. Famous Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor had originally purchased the side along with co-owner Bimal Parekh in 2014.
City Football Group’s cash injection has had a dramatic impact on Mumbai City FC who have now become a formidable side. The arrivals of Hugo Boumous (for INR 1.8 crore), Mourtada Fall, Hernan Santana, and even Bartholomew Ogbeche in 2019 turned out to be a masterstroke as the Islanders went on to win their maiden ISL crown under their new head coach, Sergio Lobera in 2020-21. They also have several high-end sponsors like Etihad Airways, Dubai Expo 2020, DafaNews, CISCO, and Puma.
Most recently, Mumbai City FC became the first club from India to win an AFC Champions League match when they defeated Iraq’s Air Force team 1-0 and 2-1 and recorded the best campaign for an Indian club in Asia’s premier competition.
Kerala Blasters FC | 5.31 million dollars
Kerala Blasters FC have seen several high-profile investors and owners since the club’s inception in 2014. Original co-owners PVP Group, who had won the rights for the club before the inaugural ISL season, came under financial scrutiny in 2015 and had to cough up nearly Rs 30 crores.
This again led to a search for a stable financial investor. Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, who was one of the original co-owners, partnered with Muthoot Group to buy a 40% stake in the club. In fact, the name Kerala Blasters was inspired by Sachin Tendulkar’s iconic ‘Master Blaster’ moniker. A host of famous South Indian actors, including Chiranjeevi, Allu Aravind, Nagarjuna, and businessman Nimmagadda Prasad all came together to acquire an 80% ownership in 2016. Tendulkar eventually ended up selling his 20% stake in 2018.
As of now, the team is owned by Blasters Sports Ventures Private Limited (BSVPL) and sponsored by BYJU’S and Six5Six after ending their five-year association with Muthoot Group. Kerala Blasters FC has one of the largest social media following among the football clubs from the continent, known as the Manjappada.
Thrice, they have finished as runners-up in the Indian Super League but are yet to go the entire distance. The likes of Adrian Luna, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, and Alvaro Vazquez are the most valuable players in the squad. Luna is, in fact, the joint-highest valued player in ISL with a net value of INR 6.6 crores.
Which is the most valuable club in India?
Odisha FC leads the list of the most valuable clubs in Indian football with a net worth of 5.72 million dollars.
Which is the most valuable club in the world?
Manchester City have emerged as the most valuable club in the world, overtaking the likes of heavyweights like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona. They are valued at a whopping 644.9 million euros.
What was the most expensive team in ISL 2022?
According to Transfermarkt, Mumbai City FC were the most expensive team in ISL 2022 with a net value of INR 4.31 crores.
Who is the most valuable Indian player in ISL?
ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Amrinder Singh is the most valuable Indian player in the Indian Super League according to Transfermarkt. He is valued at nearly INR 2.5 crores.