Guess who is the latest entrant in the I-League this year? It’s none other than the team from ‘Namma Bengaluru’, Bengaluru FC.
This is for all you people who follow football but who have no clue about the I-League and its newborn team.
Who Owns the Team?
Its one of the two clubs to get a direct entry in the I-League(along with Mumbai Tigers) who were accepted automatically into the league through payment instead of being promoted from the I-League 2nd Division. The team is currently owned by JSW Group and its managing director is Sajjan Jindal, just so you recognise it if his name pops up somewhere. The company obtained rights to run the team with a three year relegation-freeze, that means Bengaluru FC doesn’t get relegated no matter what for three years , because JSW is helping out overall football infrastructure in the city in return. On 20th July 2013, JSW launched the team officially and announced Bangalore Football Stadium as its home ground for the season, while setting up a youth academy in the city.
The logo contains the outlined structure of an unmistakable icon of the city, the Bangalore Palace and the two headed mythical bird is called the Gandaberunda and is apparently the emblem of Karnataka.
Heading into July, the club announced Ashley Westwood, a former Manchester United youth player and former Blackburn Rovers assistant manager, as the club’s first head coach. The club managed to grab the headlines when they signed the Indian Football Team captain, Sunil Chhetri amongst a host of other Indian superstars. The four foreign players , including John Johnson, Curtis Osano, Sean Rooney and Johnny Menyongar, are no less capable and a couple of promising local youngsters have been signed on as well.
Support & Impact
The support for the club has been pouring in huge numbers, going by the incessant posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter. The club even has a tie-up with Bookmyshow, so that fans can buy their tickets online, which are priced to be from Rs. 30, 50, 150, 300 and 450. And Arbor Brewing Company is going to be the home pub for the season, telecasting games and selling merchandise.
This is the most excited I’ve been about the I-League ever! I’ve been longing for a local team to support and Bengaluru FC is the answer. With a revamped stadium, and thousands of supporters behind the team, it will be wise to say that OUR time has finally arrived.