The Chennaiyin F. C. is a Chennai based franchise that has been playing in the Indian Super League since its kick-off in August 2014. Chennaiyin F.C. have a fervent set of owners in Vita Dani, the Chairperson of 11Sports, a company formed for the promotion and development of Table Tennis in India. Abhishek Bachchan, bollywood superstar and a sports entrepreneur and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who have unified with a single-minded vision of making Chennaiyin F.C. are the co-owners of the team.
The Chennai based club plays their home matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Chennai), also known as the ‘Marina Arena’.
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Chennai was one of the nine prospective cities up for franchise bidding in 2014 when Indian Super League was endowed. Per contra, Chennai's main bidder, a company led by Sunil Gavaskar had to drop out due to commitments with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Decisively, Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani bid for the team and Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi was hired as player-manager. On 6 October 2014, the Indian cricket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the joint co-owner of the club.
With colours white and blue, the jersey was formally launched on the 9th of October 2014 and real estate developer Ozone Group was declared as their head sponsor for the season. Their logo, Duradrishti, also known as Drishti represented preserving the power of positivity was designed by Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising and marketing agency.
The colour yellow, being the lightest hue of the spectrum, represents uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun, while Blue is synonymous to trust, honesty and loyalty.
Trajectory in ISL
In the ISL 2014, the team finished its 14-game regular season acquiring first place in the league. However, the team lost the first leg 3-0 to Kerala Blasters in the semi-finals. In the second leg, they managed to cope the loss by leading 3-0 in regular time. However, the 117th-minute goal by Stephen Pearson sent Kerala through to the finals.
The 2015 ISL season of the Chennaiyin F.C. commenced with the team being unsuccessful the first two games. Though the team managed to score points by winning at Goa and Mumbai, they lost another three games on the run. The team then won four consecutive games to qualify for the playoffs, finishing at 3rd place in the regular season. They won the second season of the ISL by beating FC Goa 3-2 in the finals.
For the third Season, Chennai endorsed John Arne Riise as the marquee player for the season. The season opened with a draw against Kolkata. Winning just three games through the season, the team finished in seventh place, just one point more than the last placed FC Goa.
On 3 July 2017, the club declared former Aston Villa Manager John Gregory as the head coach for the 2017-18 season. The team went on to win the finals against Bengaluru FC on their home ground and became the champions for the second time.
However, the 2018-19 season was an utterly disappointing one for Chennaiyin, where they finished 10th in the league stage – the last position. The 2019-20 season was also headed for anonymity, and things seemed to be in bad shape when John Gregory resigned from his position as head coach with the team in ninth position.
Owen Coyle took over from that point, and the team went on a dream run to reach the final of the ISL, eventually losing to ATK. The head coach for the 2020 season is Csaba Laszlo.
Chennaiyin FC have added the presence of Bosnian Centre back Enes Sipovic to their defence, and at six foot 5, he adds a big presence in the centre back position along with Eli Sabia.
Rafael Crivellaro has been retained, and he will be an extremely vital player in midfield. In addition, CFC have former Bundesliga 2 golden boot winner Jakub Sylvestr in their ranks, and they will hope he can replace the goals that Valskis scored for them in the 2019 season. Young Indian talents like Rahim Ali and Anirudh Thapa will be vital to the cause.
The third season in 2016 proved to be a bad one for Chennaiyin FC, coming in 7th place, yet the preceding season proved that they have overcome all fall-backs that held them back that year, as they won the ISL.
The highs of 2017 were compounded by the lows of the 2018 season, as they finished in the last spot in the group stage. The following season, the team came close to winning the trophy, but lost to ATK 3-1 in the final.
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