Bollywood star becomes co-owner of Indian top-flight club Minerva Punjab FC
The star's entry on board should be a positive sign for growth, for the northern Indian football club.
What's the story?
I-League outfit Minerva Punjab FC has announced that the club will now be officially co-owned by the Bollywood actor and sports enthusiast, Rannvijay Singh. Minerva Punjab FC, also known as Minerva Academy, was established in 2005.
Minerva Punjab FC competes as a member of the I-League, which is the top-tier league for Indian Football. The club's majority owner, founder and executive director is Ranjit Bajaj, and Ranvijay is now going to be the co-owner of the dominant football club.
In case you didn't know
The Minerva Punjab FC first played at the national level during the 2015–16 season when they played in the I-League 2nd Division. They finished the season as runners-up, behind champions Dempo SC of Goa. On 11 December 2016, the team was awarded a direct-entry spot in the I-League for the 2016-17 season. Minerva Punjab FC had earlier managed to rope in a Spaniard, Juan Luis Perez Herrera, as their head coach.
Minerva Punjab FC is the only club to represent the entire north Indian region and Punjab in the I-League, and its junior football team has been crowned 'All India Champions of the AIFF U-16 Youth I-League' also known as the Nike Premier Cup, for the last two consecutive years (2015-16, 2016-17).
The heart of the story
Ranvijay Singh, who is known to be a big-time sports enthusiast, has also hosted numerous shows on MTV and is also an actor. He will now be on board at the Mohali-based Club, Minerva Punjab FC, as a co-owner along with Ranjit Bajaj. Both of the owners share a history as they were co-contestants in the first edition of the popular MTV show, Roadies.
Minerva Punjab FC have a rich history dating back to the 1970s. It was the vision of Minerva Public School which was founded by Late Lt. Col. I.S. Deol. The school's football team formed the most formidable football teams in the northern region. Later, the school got closed and so did the football club, until the lost glory of football in Punjab was revived by the Colonel's grandson, Ranjit Bajaj, in 2005 as Minerva Punjab Academy.
Minerva Punjab FC has a 'Residential Football Academy', which houses and trains 100 budding footballers at its campus in Mohali, Punjab. It is renowned for its youth development program and has contributed 17 players to various age groups of the Indian national teams over the last two years. With the MTV star on board, the northern Indian football club should grow at a faster pace.
With such as rich history and a predominant position in the northern region, the football club is sure to make news as it is set to play in the I-League next season. The addition of Rannvijay as a co-owner should only result in the positive, as the popular actor has been involved in many sports ventures and has a keen inclination towards sports and fitness. For all we know, he could even give the players a little inspiration.