I-League 2017-18: Chennai City FC get new home in Coimbatore, shift 500 kms from old Chennai home ground
Chennai City FC finally shifted their home ground to Coimbatore where the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will host them in the upcoming I-League season.The team already started their practice sessions in Coimbatore ahead of the forthcoming season.
Chennai City FC made their debut in the I-League last season as a corporate direct entry team. Despite getting the nod of approval just a few weeks before the start of the league, they managed to build a decent squad and put up a good show in the I-League and finished 8th in the table. However, team owner Rohit Ramesh had expressed his concerns over the poorly maintained facilities at the JLN Stadium on several occasions.
Ever since the club started using the facilities at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, the poorly-maintained facilities at the stadium owned by SDAT (Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu) have been a headache for the team. In fact, the hustle over the huge rent which Chennai City were compelled to pay was the main reason for the differences between the club and the stadium authorities. Even after paying a hefty fee for the stadium, the concerned authorities failed to properly maintain the facilities at the premises.
Meanwhile, Chennai City had expressed interest in building their own facilities including a stadium on the outskirts of Chennai and released a statement regarding the same through their official Facebook account. They reportedly have already held talks with some of the potential investors for the stadium.Though they claim to build it by 2018, nothing concrete has materialised as of yet.
It is believed that the reason behind the shifting of the base to Coimbatore was the huge sum required to pay rent for JLN Stadium, Chennai. Nonetheless, the club held series of talks with Sports Ministry of Tamil Nadu last season but the subsidy they got was relatively nothing. And the distraught over the poor facilities provided at the stadium caught series of concern from visiting fellow I-League sides as well.
However, some reports suggest that this is a temporary movement until their own facilities are completed including accommodation for players and staff. But no concrete statement or reports on behalf of the team management on the project released to the public yet.
The renovation work at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore is in full swing and expected to be completed before December. The team have already requested the AIFF to delay their home match at least until December to get facilities ready. The pitch is being relaid currently and the whole gallery is getting painted along with installing thousands of bucket seats. The floodlights are also getting repaired to meet FIFA standards to host late kickoffs.