The Chennai franchise of the upcoming inaugural Premier Futsal has been bought by the owner of Chennai Super Division side Chennai City FC, Rohit Ramesh.
Sports entrepreneur Rohit Ramesh has bought the franchise for an undisclosed sum in a long-term agreement with Premier Futsal league.
According to Rohit Ramesh the investment in a Premier Futsal franchise made sense because, “We wanted to give an opportunity for the players from Tamil Nadu to get a big stage to show their talent. We already have a club based out of Chennai and many already play the five-a-side game. Premier Futsal will be the right platform to give them that much-needed fillip.”
Interestingly Rohit Ramesh happens to be a sports consultant at the Hindu Group and son of Ramesh Rangarajan, director of the Hindu Group of publications. While the investment of approximately Rs. 10 crore each year for a minimum of 10 years is in his personal capacity, the publications from the Hindu group, namely The Hindu and The Hindu Business Line, will feature as prominent sponsors for the Chennai franchise.
Premier Futsal Managing Director Dinesh Raj said, “We are very happy to have Rohit Ramesh on-board as the owner of our Chennai franchise. Our intention is to develop each team as a club which evokes a culture and values that are distinctive to the city it represents. Therefore we were seeking partners who can make a long-term commitment towards developing their club’s identity while at the same time nurturing future talent. Ramesh is passionate about sport and football in particular, as evident from his ownership of Chennai City FC, which combined with his technical expertise and business acumen make him the ideal partner for our Chennai franchise.”
The owners of the other seven city based franchises — Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Goa, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi — are set to be announced in the coming weeks.
The inaugural Premier Futsal league is set to take place in India from July 15 to 24 with each game split into two halves of 20 minutes each. The television rights have been sold for five years to Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India, which will ensure a pan-India media coverage.