Chennai: In a first of its kind deal, an international well-known Football Club will be shareholder of an Indian Football club Chennai City FC as FC Basel Holding AG will acquire 26% shares in CCFC as part of deal Transfer of Knowledge in all Departments (Sporting, Infra and Legal areas) to make CCFC follow best practices for successfully running a Football Club.
The current leaders of India’s top flight football league, the Hero I-League, announced in New Delhi that FC Basel, the top Swiss Football Club which has nurtured players like current Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah , Xherdan Shaqiri, Croatian-swiss star Ivan Rakitic, will transfer their knowledge to Chennai City FC.
In what could be a welcome step forward for the future of Indian Football, the Co-Owners Rohit Ramesh and R Krishnakumar revealed details of the tie-up in the presence of FC Basel President Bernhard Burgener and CEO Roland Heri and other officials.
This is the first time in the history of Indian football, that foreign investment in terms of acquiring ownership in an Indian club is taking place. The partnership will focus on cooperation for setting up among other things, a best-in-class Residential Youth Academy in Coimbatore and rolling out Soccer Schools across the State in Phase-1.
Rohit Ramesh, who setup CCFC, said, “Football is a passion, a movement and you need to deliver to the fans’ aspirations. It is with this thought in mind that we ventured to make this move, so that our fans get what they deserve a world-class football club.”
FC Basel President, Burgener said, “This is not only a historic moment for Indian football and CCFC but also a historic moment for FC Basel as we are becoming strategical, supportive and financially active for the first time in Asia to grow this sport of Football. India has shown growing football interest in general but also the recently concluded Asian Cup has showcased that there is immense footballing potential to be tapped and we want to be partners in helping them doing so.”
Chennai City FC has been blazing the I-League in only their third year of formation, producing sublime football to lead the points table comfortably with six rounds to go. Their Spanish recruits have been among the best foreign players to have ever played in this country.
In Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas, they have also been blessed with a keen student of the game and who has been instrumental in shaping the team along with Jordi Villa for over a year.
As part of the plans for the Coimbatore academy, it was revealed that it would provide free education and boarding facilities for talented players from the age group of 10-18 so that they could study, play and focus on a career in football. On the Soccer Schools front as well, the Academy would impart knowledge actively to schools on how to incorporate it as part of their curriculums.