Calcutta: The star owners of the franchises of the Indian Super League (ISL) are understandably very excited about the IPL-style football tournament, which is being touted to change the status of game in the country.
With money pouring in from iconic cricketers, Bollywood stars, celebrity industrialists and football club owners, the ISL looks set to become the next big thing is Indian sport. The owners’ list of the eight franchises was officially announced on Sunday.
Sachin Tendulkar, who is the joint owner of the Kochi franchise along with PVP Ventures, is all excited with the prospect of owning a team that would work towards enhancing and nurturing talent.
Sachin Tendulkar: I will always remain a sportsman at heart who is keen to positively impact the sporting fabric of the nation. The Indian Super League presents a great opportunity to develop a platform for the youngsters to learn and enhance their talent, to develop into outstanding players.
It has been an interesting experience interacting with the young, passionate team at PVP Ventures, led by Prasad Potluri. Based on the various insights shared by the team, the opportunity of the Kochi club seemed like a compelling and challenging proposition. With the Kochi club, we will strive to ‘score our goals’ and play a part in developing the game of football across the country.
Ranbir Kapoor: It is a matter of great pride for me to be a part of the Indian Super League and to represent the vibrant city of Mumbai.
Football has never been far away from my daily life since childhood, and now as a partner in the Indian Super League, I am looking forward to translate my passion into contributing to the growth of the sport.
I firmly believe in the grassroots and community development program designed by the League organisers IMG Reliance, to popularise the game and that’s one thing which excited me to be part of this dream.
Also, Sameer Manchanda, chairman of DEN Networks, which won the Delhi franchise, said: “Soccer runs in the blood of every Indian and is a part of our sporting DNA. ISL is the beginning of a movement that will revolutionise Indian soccer and uncover the true potential of the sport in our county.”
Kapil Wadhawan, the CMD of Wadhawan Group, co-owners of Pune franchise, said: “This league would offer opportunities to millions of Indian youth to bring their dreams to reality. I am personally committed to this endeavour.”