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The I-League champions are the latest in the line of I-League clubs to have partnered an ISL franchisee…

JSW is set to partner Sun Group to form the Bangalore franchisee in the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).

Pune FC also followed suit when they joined hands with Salman Khan and Wadhawan Group over the weekend.

Mustafa Ghouse, CEO at JSW Sports and Mandar Tamhane, Consultant to Bengaluru FC were present at the ISL domestic draft pick alongside the Sun Group officials to guide them in the squad selection.

“We were having discussions with Bengaluru FC for quite some time now. For the first year, this will be a technical tie-up.

“We have experience in sports with experience of at least two IPL’s (cricket’s Indian Premier League) behind us. Football is new to us as a group. So Bengaluru FC brings their experience on the table which shall play an important role for us,” said Ananth Nagarajan, Head of Sports – Sun Group to Goal.

On being asked whether Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood would play some role in the Bangalore franchisee this season, Nagarjuna said, “That will be difficult given the conflicting schedules of the two teams. To expect the Bengaluru FC coach to manage the Bangalore franchisee as well in year one would be unfair. As partners, we would be working towards each other’s strengths,” he added.

Ghouse acknowledged that JSW had indeed taken a plunge into the ISL and mentioned that buying a stake in the Bangalore franchisee is a possibility.

“It (buying a stake) is something that we are looking. For the first year, it will be a technical tie-up but from the second year, we will explore the opportunity of Bengaluru FC forming the core of the Bangalore franchisee as well.”

He added that the franchisee was pleased with the names they managed to rope in with the likes of Gouramangi Singh, Shilton Paul, Harmanjot Khabra, Jeje Lalpekhlua joining them.

“We are very pleased with the names we have got. Although we would have liked a few more but in a draft system, you have to accept it,” he mentioned.

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