MUMBAI: India’s metropolitan city Mumbai which is home to some of India’s greatest sporting talents has finally got its own football club for the upcoming Hero Indian Super League-Mumbai City Football Club.
Team owners Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh along with IMG-Reliance chairperson Nita Ambani and yesteryear actor Rishi Kapoor unveiled the logo of the new team and spoke about the teams’ grassroots programme. Mumbai’s D.Y Patil Stadium has been declared as the team’s home stadium.
Explaining the new blue and white designed logo for the team, Ranbir Kapoor, who is the co-owner of the Club said, “A resilient fortress surrounding the logo signifies the determined spirit of the city. The seven stars symbolise the islands that form Mumbai. The trains meanwhile stand for the pulsating, beating a staccato rhythm and the vast distance these trains connect. They are the lifeline of the city.”
He further added, “I couldn’t have asked for a better franchise to co-own. It is the city I have grown up in and the city I love. This team will celebrate our unwavering spirit and like the city, fulfill the dreams of players and football fans.”
When questioned if he will just be a face for the team or an active participant, the self proclaimed Barcelona fan said that he had financially invested in the team and was very passionate about football since he was 10-11 years old.
Chartered Accountant and co-owner Bimal Parekh while speaking to indiantelevision.com said that he will be looking after the financial and administration aspect of the team, while his other co-owner Kapoor, would help in developing and promoting the team. “Our roles are clear cut and well defined,” he added.
Parekh promises that his team will play a possession based free flowing brand of football while being technically sound, fast and tactically aware.
The team has already devised its plan to reach out to the young fans at the grassroots level. Said the team’s technical director Nishant Mehra, “We have roped in around 100 schools to be a part of the developmental programme where we plan to target the age group of six to 10 years.”
Commenting on the grassroots activation, IMG-Reliance chairperson Nita Ambani said, “The real excitement for the Hero ISL is the Young Champs programme, through which we will reach out to a number of schools.”
A lot of emphasis is being laid on the grassroots programme, as it is understood that each of the teams are contractually bound to shell out approximately Rs 2 crore annually as part of developing the game in their respective team areas.