Exclusive: Kerala Blasters in talks with former European champions for strategic partnership
Written by: Punit Tripathi
The Belgrade-based outfit are keen to foray into the Indian market and have previously been in discussions with several clubs.
Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters are in talks with Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade over a symbiotic deal, Khel Now sources close to the developments have revealed. Both parties have had initial discussions over a specific form of partnership that will benefit both sides, and not just the Indian club.
During negotiations, it was categorically mentioned that the tie-up shouldn’t just be a deal on paper, but a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties, our sources informed. Things are moving at a swift pace and if everything goes as planned, the Serbian club could also buy a stake in the ISL outfit.
Red Star Belgrade were a dominant force in European football for the majority of the last century and lifted the UEFA Champions League (then the European Cup) in 1990. The club in its celebrated history has names like Bora Kostic and Dragan Dzajic, players who revolutionized Yugoslavian and Serbian football respectively.
The Kerala-based team also had a brief romance with the City Football Group in 2018, but talks did not materialize. With the kind of team ATK, Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC are building, Kerala Blasters will do well to bring in footballing support from one of the most revered clubs in Europe. The European party lifted the Serbian SuperLiga last term, proving that they aren’t a spent force.
Kochi: Home of Kerala Blasters
Both parties are still discussing the type of partnership they can form, but conversations have been positive so far and things are expected to get more concrete in the next few days, Khel Now sources also revealed. The Tuskers recently signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Jain University, quashing the rumours of shutting down due to financial losses. Owner Nimmagadda Prasad re-affirmed the management’s commitment to the fans, while also announcing that the club is set to launch academies throughout the state.
The attendance figures in Kochi had dwindled last season due to varying reasons, but such positive moves from the club could bring the Manjappada back to the stadium, something the club is proud of.
Khel Now will keep you updated with developments from the same.
Published: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:28 PM IST