Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Major Indian capital city football club is privitised

India's New Delhi Heroes, has been taken over by art auction house Osian's and IOS Sports & Leisure, marking the first time that a professional sports management agency has bought a football club and the first ever corporate takeover of a football club in the capital city. Osian's is title sponsor of the Durand Cup, India's oldest tournament while IOS its the event manager. Established in 1939, the club has an outstanding history. It won the inaugural DCM Cup in 1945 beating King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 3-2 in the final and is six-time Delhi Soccer Association League winners (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1959).

"This takeover is another step in our continuing process to develop the game in India. We want to make the club a pioneer in Indian football. Right from its management to training facilities available, everything will be world class. We will conduct regular training camps under foreign coaches and build a youth academy and a training centre to foster talent," Neville Tuli, founder-chairman of Osian's, said, adding that one of the long-term objectives of the takeover is to compete and win the National Football League, which goes professional from the 2007-08 season.

"We aim to sign on players who have represented the Indian team or have played for National Football League Division 1 clubs. The coaching team will consist of top coaches and training staff. We want to work our way up to the top tier of the NFL, but we will be taking things one at a time," IOS CEO Neerav Tomar said.

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