ISL 2017-18: Football group that owns Manchester City eyeing tie-up with Jamshedpur FC
What's the story?
Mr Ferran Soriano, who is the CEO of City Football Group was spotted on Friday with the Director of the Tata Football Academy, Mr Sunil Bhaskaran before their game against Mumbai City FC in the ISL. The City Football Group is known for acquiring portions of Football clubs across diverse geographies and this surely does not seem to be just an occasional visit to Jamshedpur.
Soriano himself admitted that the group might invest in India in future.
In case you didn't know
Jamshedpur FC is the newest entrant in the ISL after being formed in 2017. It is owned by Tata Steel and is currently in the bottom half of ISL. City Football Group is also a newly founded one (2014) and owns portions of clubs in a number of countries including England, United States of America, Australia, Japan, Spain, and Uruguay. Their aim is to have at least one team in every continent and have various identifier cities which host these teams.
The heart of the matter
The head coach of Jamshedpur FC, Steve Coppell, has played more than 300 games for Manchester United and managed a large number of clubs in the past including Manchester City. Thus, he brings with him a large network that may help Jamshedpur FC grow in future. He has also managed Kerala Blasters in the past and understands the whereabouts of ISL well and thus can be a guide to any foreign entity eyeing Indian Football for investment.
Soriano talked about the possibility of the City Football Group investing in Indian football. “Yeah, who knows, not immediately but India is a major opportunity for football,” he said. “Because there is talent, there is passion and we are very positive about the development of football in India."
With Yokohama F. Marinos being the only Asian club owned by the City Football Group as of now they might be looking forward to new investments in order to have a stronghold in Asia. Thus a possible tie-up is on cards.
If this meet converts into a tie-up, it can change the shape of Indian football and sports altogether and give global exposure to Indian talents as well.