Is the City Football Group (CFG) eyeing Kerala Blasters?

The Manchester City chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, said in 2017, that the City Football Group is looking at buying clubs in the Indian Super League (ISL) and Chinese Super League (CSL).

Kerala Blasters has been a two-time ISL finalist.   -  H. Vibhu

Is the City Football Group, the company which owns English Premier League champion Manchester City and Melbourne City FC, looking at buying a big stake in Kerala Blasters?

Could be.

It’s no secret that the City Football Group (CFG), owned by a group of wealthy Abu Dhabi businessmen and which has big stake in other prominent clubs like the New York City, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Spain’s La Liga club Girona, is also looking at buying controlling stake in clubs in India and China.

Well, the Toyota Yaris La Liga World pre-season football tournament which features two CFG clubs could just be the opportunity the group is looking for. For the third team in the fray is Kerala Blasters FC, the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned club that has the biggest fan base for an ISL side.

However, Blasters’ CEO Varun Tripuraneni denied that there was any such move by the CFG. “No, no…nothing at all, 100 per cent. From the group (CFG), there has been no communication at all,” Tripuraneni told Sportstar on Friday evening.

“But I am sure they are in talks with one or two clubs here in India because their CEO was in Jamshedpur during the last Indian Super League so I’m sure it’s more to get some inside information about the ISL.”
But will the Blasters be interested in selling a big stake to the CFG?

“We’ve not thought about it, to be honest. But if there is a proposal, we will obviously evaluate the offer based on the merit. But for now, we are really focusing on the season ahead,” said Tripuraneni.

“Now, quite a few clubs in Europe have started enquiring about the ISL and Kerala Blasters so this is a good opportunity for us to showcase the club and its fans.”

Meanwhile, the Melbourne City captain Scott Jameison felt that the pre-season tournament was a great chance to show India to Australia.

“I think this is a chance to show India to Australia and Australia to India. You never know, may be one day, we could be wearing Kerala colours, you never know. Me and Luke (Brattan, midfielder), we support Kerala already,” he said.

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