Shillong Lajong FC became the first Indian football club to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Anglian Holdings, a Dubai based multi-national company, will buy the club’s shares up to a maximum of 25%.
No one quoted figures but Lajong FC general secretary Larsing Ming Sawyan told HT on Wednesday that the infusion of funds would take care of “at least 50% our annual budget next season.”
Like for other mid-table I-League clubs, the annual budget of Lajong, who usually play their home matches in front of a packed house, is said to be between R4 and Rs 6 crore this season.
The company has also invested in FC Vestsjaelland (also known as FCV Vikings) which plays in Denmark’s first division (the second tier of Danish football) and wants to create an Indo-European pipeline for “exchange of talent, knowledge and expertise,” said Dhruv Ratra, amid promises of scouting, training and promoting indigenous talent.
Ratra is the company’s CEO sports and marketing and said he has been involved with the development of football in USA.
Here for the announcement, FCV Vikings president Kurt Andersen said his club and Lajong are similar with regard to their aim of promoting youngsters.
“Like Lajong, we also don’t go about spending on big-name players because we are not only concerned about the short term. Our aim always has been to give youngsters the chance to perform. We are looking forward to working with Lajong for a mutually beneficial relationship for the betterment of both clubs,” he said.