Reports suggest that Bollywood actor Shah Ruk Khan is all set to acquire 50% stakes in one of India’s oldest and most successful football clubs, Goa based Dempo SC, for around Rs 30 crore, showing the movie star’s growing interest in the untapped market of football in India and in sports altogether.
The deal hasn’t been finalized yet, but Dempo SC officials confirm negotiation talks with Shah Rukh Khan. However SRK is not the only one in the race, a notable Indian cricketer, who is a fan of football is said to be in the race as well.
It is believed that SRK, co-owner of the Indian Premier League 2012 winner – Kolkata Knight Riders – wants to diversify sports business entertainment under the Red Chillies Entertainment banner.
Dempo SC founded in 1968, also known as ‘the-whites’ are the the 3 times winners of the prestigious i-League and are the reigning champions of the same. They are based in Panjim, Goa.
Shah Rukh’s involvement will surely be a boon for the club. Dempo have won the I-league thrice since it was launched in 2007-08. They have also won the erstwhile National Football League twice in 2004-05 and 2006-07.
Dempo are also the only Indian club to make the semi-finals of the AFC Cup, Asia’s second tier club competition, in 2008.
Over the past couple of years, a number of celebrities have shown interest in promoting Indian football. In 2009, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) roped in Salman Khan, Shah Rukh’s arch-rival, as brand ambassador.
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and her industrialist husband Raj Kundra, who are co-owners of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, had also shown interest in playing an active role in Indian football.
Among other IPL owners, Vijay Mallya, who owns Royal Challengers Bangalore, is the chief sponsor of Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
After numerous controversies and bad publicity of SRK during IPL, this move will surely fetch him lots of football fans across India for sure.