In ‘Made in India’ sports leagues, foreigners score with the money

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Published: March 6, 2016 2:01:40 AM

64% of total players’ salaries in 8 leagues in 2014-15 went to foreign athletes


australian open, australian open final time, australian open final, australian open 2015, australian open results, novak djokovic vs andy murray, novak djokovicAccording to the report, Britain’s Andy Murray, who played for the Singapore Slammers in IPTL, had the highest PPM of Rs 14.3 lakh. (AP)

All the eight sports leagues in India talk about giving local talent a chance as their major objective, but when it comes to money, it’s a different ball game altogether. Because, a recent report on player salaries reveals that of the total amount (Rs 823 crore) spent on player salaries in 2014-15, 64% (Rs 527 crore) went to foreign players and only 36% (Rs 296 crore) to domestic players.

The Indian Sports Salaries Report 2016, released by Gurgaon-based research services agency Super Insight, took into account 857 players in Indian Premier League (IPL), Indian Super League (ISL), Hockey India League, International Premier Tennis League, Premier Badminton League, Champions Tennis League, Pro Kabaddi League and Pro Wrestling League.

There were some surprising findings in terms of individual performances as well. Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, who grappled for the Haryana Hammers in the Pro Wrestling League, is the Indian with the highest pay-per-minute (PPM) of Rs 1.65 lakh. Pay-per-minute, calculated by dividing a player’s total salary by the number of minutes he or she spent performing, is one of the few metrics used in the report. Cricketer Yuvraj Singh is the highest paid cricketer at number 17, earning Rs 1.01 lakh/minute in 2015. Biggies such as Virat Kohli (29th), MS Dhoni (34th) and Suresh Raina (48th) are all earning below Rs 75,000/minute.

According to the report, Britain’s Andy Murray, who played for the Singapore Slammers in IPTL, had the highest PPM of Rs 14.3 lakh. He is followed by Spain’s Rafael Nadal (Rs 10.8 lakh/minute) and Switzerland’s Roger Federer (Rs 10.2 lakh/per minute). Among women, Russian Maria Sharapova had the highest PPM of Rs 6 lakh.

The first six names in the PPM rankings are from tennis. What’s more, the combined salaries of Federer and Nadal were higher than the total amount paid to players in the Pro Wrestling League, Premier Badminton League and Pro Kabaddi League combined.

The report also measures the success of each sport and player according to the TV viewership of the events.

On the face of it, I feel that money spent on creating the content for each sport should be compared with the earning potential of the content. And that is how we could plan a way forward… we felt the need for a start of a new research initiative in the business of sports,” said Raman Raheja, director, Super Insight, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Super Sports & Projects, a sports marketing and management firm.

Raheja added that the information in the report was a compilation of data collected from various sources, such as team websites and international sports agents, among others.

Apart from PPM, the report has used some other interesting variables such as social media reach of different clubs and players on Facebook and Twitter, total payout by the club and its performance in a league to create a ‘Super Club’ list. The top three super clubs in the list are Awadhe Warriors from the badminton league, Chennai Super Kings (IPL) and FC Goa (ISL)

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