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ISL to Introduce Health App to Monitor Players and Coaches Through the Season; FA Board Diversity Plans Blocked By Professional Game: FA Chairman and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Indian Super League (ISL) shares 'broad overview' with franchises about upcoming season, set to create health app for players, staff | English FA Board’s diversity plans blocked by professional game says chairman Greg Clark | Firms vie to invest in Italy's Serie A media rights, says source | Real Madrid forward Diaz tests positive for COVID-19 | ATK proposes removal of salary cap on ISL teams.
broad guidelines for ISL clubs released ahead of next season

The 7th season of the Indian Super League (ISL) is rescheduled from November to March behind closed doors and is expected to be played in a single venue.

The Indian Super League (ISL) brought out a broad overview of its coronavirus guidelines for clubs and people involved in the upcoming season. The league will ask coaches, players and everyone involved to use an app to provide daily health updates. The app will be operational from the pre-season. 

"ISL is planning to create a Health App for players support staff, club management, league officials including match commissioners and referees, doctors. Everyone who is going to be in the bubble," a source close to ISL told PTI on Tuesday.

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“They all will have to daily provide their health updates through this app, starting from pre-season which is roughly October. There will be approximately 1500 to 2000 people monitored by the league’s medical team on a daily basis,” the source added. 

The 7th season of the Indian Super League is rescheduled from November to March behind closed doors and is expected to be played in a single venue due to the coronavirus pandemic. Goa and Kerala are the frontrunners to host the event. The teams, it has already ben confirmed, will be placed in a bio-secure environment. 

There will be a virtual workshop conducted in October and the clubs will be given all the details with regards to the rules and regulation of the tournament. While the schedule of the full fixtures of the 2020-21 will be announced by 31 August, the venue will be finalised by August 7. 

FA Diversity Reviews Blocked

The chairman of the Football Association (FA) Greg Clarke has accused professional game representatives of the board of efficiently blocking diversity reviews of its members. 

In a letter to the FA council Clark said that in the board meeting, a couple of options were discussed as an effort to diversify the board but the representatives blocked the move.

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“We discussed a number of options including: making the chair of the inclusion advisory board [Paul Elliott] a director and giving the professional and national games an extra board seat each that could provide the flexibility to allow appointment of diverse candidates should they be the best qualified person for the role,” Clarke wrote.

“Both our independent directors offered to stand down to create opportunities for a more diverse board but the board was united in declining their offer,” the letter added. “The professional game were against such a review believing the changes introduced in 2017 were sufficient. The national game were sympathetic to a review and consultation with [the] council but did not want to oppose the professional game.

“However, without the support of the professional game and national game, who have a majority of directors, a review of the FA board composition is not possible,” it added. 

Big Offers for Serie A Media Rights

A source on Tuesday confirmed that six international offers have been received by Serie A, expressing interest in investing in the broadcasting rights for their matches. The various proposals will be discussed by 20 Serie Club in a meeting on Thursday. 

In an attempt to secure the decreasing revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Serie A asked interested investors to submit their bids by Monday. The bids were to acquire up to 15% of stakes in a newly established media company that would control the broadcasting rights of the league. 

The source said that firms such as CVC, Bain Capital and Advent International, Fortress and Blackstone’s credit arm GSO have offered their proposals to acquire a stake in the business. 

Even Wanda Sports and Mediapro, Chinese owned media firms have submitted their bids to create a Serie A media channel that would be circulated over multiple platforms, the source added. 

More than half of Serie A’s revenue is dependent on broadcasting rights. Reports by the consulting firm Deloitte suggested that last season the Italian league raised around $1.8 billion for them, a mere pittance when compared to the English Premier League’s $4.1 billion. 

Mariano Diaz Covid-19 Positive

Real Madrid confirmed that Mariano Diaz tested positive for Covid-19 and is under isolation at home. Madrid, who won the league, have been in training in preparations for their Champions League game scheduled for next month.

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"After the Covid-19 tests carried out individually on our first team yesterday by the Real Madrid medical services, our player Mariano has given a positive result,” the club said via a statement.

Zinedine Zidane’s side currently trail Manchester City 2-1 and will have it up against them at the Etihad Stadium on August 8.

While quarantine protocols remain in place for people travelling into the UK, it is understood that Real will be granted an exception and allowed to play the game in Manchester.

UEFA, European football's governing body, said it is "in contact with the club and monitoring both the situation and decisions of the relevant Spanish authorities".

"We are confident that this case will not affect the regular staging of the match in question," a statement added. City are monitoring the situation and have expressed mild concerns.

ATK Propose Removal of Salary Cap

Three-time champions ATK have reportedly approached the Indian Super League (ISL) with a proposal to remove the salary cap of Rs 16.5 crore per team/per season.

A salary cap is the maximum overall expenditure that can be made by a club to get a player in the squad and includes annual salary, bonuses, and signing-on fee.

The Kolkata-based outfit, who have been renamed ATK-Mohun Bagan after tying up with the iconic 131-year-old club have dismissed the news as not real.

While chief executive officer Raghu Iyer told the Hindustan Times that the news was incorrect, another official of the franchise said they will “abide by the ISL rules and regulations as part of the league”.

Football Sports Development Ltd. (FSDL), was presented with the suggestion at the meeting of the 10 competing clubs back when it asked for feedback regarding foreign players’ participation in the upcoming season.

Mumbai City FC also supported ATK’s proposal, a source in the Indian football fraternity said.

“This was proposed during FSDL’s meeting with the clubs a month ago and removal of the price cap is a suggestion the ISL will be studying. It is too early for ISL to adopt no salary cap but this can be done in the near future,” a source close to the ISL told PTI.

“Not only that, ATK also had support from Mumbai City FC, which is backed by the same group as Manchester City,” the source added.

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