French Ligue 1 champion Paris Saint-Germain and its Qatari owners are assessing India as an option for investment, but will go ahead only if they "find the right partners", the club's Head of Communication Jean Martial Ribes said here on Wednesday.
"For us [PSG], the Indian market is very important. If you break into the Indian market, the potential for business is massive. The problem is the game is not well developed yet," he said.
Ribes noted that PSG had entered into the Indian market earlier, but found it difficult to establish a foothold. "We are looking closely at what the English and the other clubs are doing, and we will advance progressively. We were in India [before] and we found it difficult to develop the academies. For us, it's [India] one of our top markets, but it's not an easy one to break into.
"We need to find the right partners to build the academies, to develop even a PSG shop; because in Japan we opened one PSG shop and we are going to open a second one. Someday, it'd be great to have a PSG shop in Bombay [now Mumbai] or Delhi," he said.
He added that the Parisian club is looking for Indian sponsors who could represent PSG as a brand in India: "We have sponsors from China, we have sponsors from Indonesia, the United States, from many, many countries. We do not have sponsors from India, but it'd be fantastic for us to be able to have access to sponsors from India or to have Indian market people representing our brand. There are some very big companies in India but we need to have the access and right now, we are missing access."
Ribes also stated that PSG – which features some of the world's best footballers such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani – would be open to playing a match in India if the right investment comes in.
"If we can find an Indian businessman who comes to us and says, 'I am ready to work with you and develop the brand' by opening stores or opening academies, we could bring in star players and we could imagine having a match in India with our team (PSG) some day. If we can find that person, we will definitely go. Just to go there and invest without knowing the right people is difficult," he said.
( The writer is in France on the invitation of LFP )
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