Chelsea and IMG-Reliance Discuss Possible India Deal

By Community | November 12, 2012

IMG-Reliance and Chelsea FC have reportedly launched preliminary talks about the possibility of partnering  to develop a world-class football academy in India.

Reliance CEO ,Mukesh Ambani, reportedly, met Chelsea FC Chief Executive, Ron Gourlay, in London recently for the first round of discussions.

For Chelsea, partnering with an established player – IMG-Reliance is the commercial partner of football’s governing body All India Football Federation (AIFF) – could provide a way into the fast-growing Indian football market.

An alliance with Chelsea will boost the struggling football activities of IMG-Reliance and provide expertise.

IMG-Reliance signed a 15-year deal with AIFF in 2010 that it has yet to profit from financially.

A deal between IMG Reliance and Chelsea, would be a great step forward for Indian football, said Prashant Singh, general manager, Octagon India, a sports consultancy.

“A football academy is the easiest path to a new market and Chelsea could not have landed a better partner than Reliance because of the Indian company’s ability to absorb initial losses, according to him. For IMG-Reliance, the deal could signify that things are finally falling into place,” he said.

In an interview in September, Gourlay said the club is looking for long-term grassroots programmes in India to engage with its growing fan base.{jcomments on}