First franchise model football team born

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on November 25, 2017

Will be called Atlético de Kolkata

It’s official now. India’s first franchise-based professional football team, Atlético de Kolkata, is born.

The club is the first international franchise of this year’s UEFA Champions League finalist Atlético de Madrid.

Atlético de Kolkata will be run by the corporate entity Kolkata Games & Sports Pvt Ltd. The new club, which will participate in the Indian Super League (ISL), promises to swerve the country’s corporate club football into a new trajectory.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, the club promoters said they would also run a football academy for the local kids and bring in skills and management know-how.

Apart from Atlético, former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, chairman of Ambuja Neotia group Harsh Neotia, Chairman of RP Sanjiv group Sanjiv Goenka and Chairman of SMIFS Capital Markets Utshav Parekh are the promoters of the new entity.

According to Miguel Angel Gil Marin, owner of Atlético, who was here to formally launch the club, “our joint ownership of the club is testimony to our commitment to the Kolkata franchise of Indian Super League”.

Neotia said the club would focus on training, coaching and infrastructure development.

Igncio Aguillo, director of corporate development at Atlético, the Spanish club would provide a structured training and management support. It would replicate its talent hunt and training programmes here for the seven-year-olds.

So far, the Kolkata club is the only one among eight ISL partners to tie up with a high profile global football club.

The upcoming ISL has stressed on grass root development of the game. In the first year, ISL, along with its partners, aims to reach out to 1 million kids through an in-school programme.

Published on May 07, 2014

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