Aizawl Football Club are an Indian football club from Aizawl, Mizoram. Formed in 1984, Aizawl earned entry into the I-League in 2015–16 after winning the 2015 I-League 2nd Division. On April 30 2017, they became the first football club from the Northeast to win the Hero I-League title, taking the Indian football scene by storm as well as surprise.
Based in Kolkata, West Bengal, ATK are currently the most successful Hero ISL club. Established on May 7 2014 as the league’s first team, they have already won the title twice in four years. The team is owned by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. which consists of former Indian Cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, alongside businessmen Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka and Utsav Parekh. They faced Kerala Blasters FC in both the inaugural and 2016 edition final, and edged them aside to become the champions.
Formed in 2013 and owned by the JSW Group, Bengaluru Football Club, nicknamed ‘the Blues’, play their home matches out of the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. They had a successful debut Hero I-League season in which the team claimed the league title, while repeating it again two seasons later. In their third season, the Blues went on to become the first ever Indian club to make it to the final of the AFC Cup. In 2017, they made their Hero ISL debut.
Chennai City Football Club are an Indian professional football club based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Established in 1946 as Nethaji Sports Club by five friends, they now compete in the Hero I-League. The club have spent the majority of their history competing in the local state and city tournaments before entering the national stage in 2016.
Chennaiyin FC are a club based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The club began their journey in October 2014, during the inaugural Hero ISL season. They eventually went on to win the title a year later in the 2015 second season. Owned by Vita Dani, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan and Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chennaiyin are one of the most successful clubs in Hero ISL and are currently managed by John Gregory.
Churchill Brothers Sports Club are an Indian football club based in Margao, Goa. They were founded in 1988 in Margao. They were the founding club of the National Football League in 1996 and the Hero I-League in 2007. In the first decade of the 21st century, the club won three Durand Cups and two league titles.
Delhi Dynamos FC are an Indian professional football club based in the Indian capital city of Delhi. The club began operations in October 2014 during the inaugural season of Hero ISL, but are yet to win the title. The team is owned by United States-based ship recycling company GMS Inc. and Delhi-based DEN Networks.
East Bengal Football Club are a professional football club based in Kolkata, West Bengal, who currently compete in the Hero I-League. The club have won three titles, eight Federation Cups and three Indian Super Cups, among others. They are also the current holder of the Calcutta Football League and have a long-standing rivalry with Mohun Bagan A.C., forming one half of the much-celebrated Kolkata derby.
FC Goa, referred to as the ‘Gaurs’ by their passionate fans, are an Indian professional football club based in Goa that compete in the Hero ISL. The club was founded by Aldrich Rodrigues and launched on August 2014. The team is owned by Goan Football Club Pvt. Ltd. which consists of Jaydev Mody and Venugopal Dhoot. They represent Goa, the only state or union territory, to declare football as its official sport.
FC Pune City or the ‘Stallions’, as they are called, are an Indian professional football club based in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, who participates in the Hero ISL. Formed in 2014, they are owned by the Rajesh Wadhawan Group, its promoters Mr Kapil Wadhawan and Mr Dheeraj Wadhawan, with Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor becoming a part from 2017 onwards.
Gokulam Kerala Football Club are an Indian professional football club based in Kozhikode, Kerala. Owned by the Sree Gokulam Group, the club began competing in the Hero I-League in the 2017–18 I-League season. They play their home matches in the EMS Stadium, located in the heart of the city of their birth.
Indian Arrows, previously known as Pailan Arrows, are an Indian football club located in Delhi, which compete in the Hero I-League. The club was initially formed with the main goal of nurturing young football talents from the country in the hope of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. After disbanding in 2013, the project was revived as Indian Arrows in 2017.
Jamshedpur Football Club are an Indian professional football club based in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. The club was established on 12 June 2017 and compete as a member of the Hero ISL, where they debuted in the 2017–18 season. The club is owned by Tata Steel, a subsidiary of the Tata Group. Legendary Manchester United player Steve Coppell is the club’s first head coach.
Kerala Blasters Football Club are an Indian professional football club based in Kochi, Kerala, who compete in the Hero ISL. The club was established on May 24 2014 and began their first professional season a few months later in October. The club’s name come from one of their owners - former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who was known as the ‘Master Blaster’ during his playing days. The club made it to the Hero ISL final in 2014 and 2016, losing the title both times to ATK.
Minerva Punjab Football Club, also known as Minerva Academy, are an Indian professional football club based in Chandigarh. Minerva Punjab compete as a member of the Hero I-League. The club's majority owner, founder, and executive director is Ranjit Bajaj. They play their home matches at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana.
Mohun Bagan A.C. were established in 1889 by Bhupendra Nath Bose, making them the oldest existing football club in India. The club is based in Kolkata, West Bengal and play in the Hero I-League. Mohun Bagan have won the top-flight football league in India four times, the National Football League three times and the I-League once. They are the most successful team in the history of the Federation Cup, having won the championship a record 14 times. The club have also won several other trophies, which includes the Durand Cup (16 times), IFA Shield (22 times) and the Calcutta Football League (29 times).
Mumbai City FC are an Indian professional football club based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The club was launched in August 2014 during the Hero ISL's inaugural season and have competed in the league since. The team is co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh. They topped the league table in 2016, but couldn’t get their hands on the trophy which eventually ATK won.
NEROCA Football Club are an Indian professional association football club based in Imphal, Manipur. The club made their Hero I-League 2nd Division debut in the 2015-16 season and won it in the 2016–17 season to earn promotion to the Hero I-League. NEROCA are the only club from Northeast India to reach the final of the coveted Durand Cup.
NorthEast United FC are an Indian professional football club based in Guwahati, Assam. The club claim to represent the eight states of North-East India - Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram, in the Hero ISL. The team is owned and operated by Bollywood actor John Abraham. They are yet to reach their first Hero ISL semi-final.
Shillong Lajong Football Club are an Indian professional football club based in Shillong, Meghalaya and play in the Hero I-League. The club was established in 1983 and have access to the largest student population in the North-East. They are under professional management and have a strong fan base across the North-East, which is being actively developed over the years