EPL’s Blackburn Rovers to Create Feeder Club in India

July 8, 2011

English Premier League soccer club Blackburn Rovers say they are planning to start a club and feeder academy in the western Indian city of Pune.

The Lancashire-based club, who are owned by the Indian poultry-giant Venky’s, were purchased last year for US$73m by the Pune-based company.

Venky’s director B. Balaji Rao said: ”We are getting an academy and a stadium in Pune. The site is near the Mumbai-Pune highway and will be ready in a year and a half or two years.

“We are looking to launch a team based around players from the academy,” he said. “We have already registered the team name Blackburn Rovers FC Pune.”

Rao intends for the club to play in India’s professional I-League.

He added: ”We are looking to launch a team based around players from the academy. The academy will be run exactly like the Blackburn academy, with trainees starting when they are in the 11-12 age group, and train under coaches from Blackburn.”

Blackburn is also planning an exhibition match against a local team in Pune on July 22 and will field a full-strength squad, including its top players like Chris Samba, Paul Robinson, Martin Olsson and Ryan Nelsen for different teams in a local tournament on July 23.