News Live Scores
Minerva Punjab

Minerva Punjab seeks NOC from AIFF before striking RoundGlass deal

2:48 pm AEST 24/7/19
Ranjit Bajaj Minerva Punjab I-League 2017-18 champions
Minerva Punjab has approached AIFF leadership seeking NOC before selling off their stakes to RoundGlass...

Minerva Punjab has reached out to top officials of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) seeking a green light from the governing body ahead of a potential sale of the club to lifestyle and wellbeing firm RoundGlass, Goal has learnt. 

The former I-League champions are in advanced talks with RoundGlass to sell off 50 per cent shares of the club in the first phase while the entire stake might be sold off within the next three months or so.

According to article 13.A.4. and 13.A.10 of the club licensing regulations in India if the licensee wishes to carry out any alteration to the ownership structure, then it must seek prior approval from AIFF. 

Article 13.A.4

The membership and/or the contractual relationship must have lasted at the start of the licensing process at least two consecutive years. Any alteration to club’s legal form or company structure (including, changing its headquarters, name, club colors, or transferring stake holdings between different clubs/entities) in order to facilitate its qualification on sporting merit and/or its receipt of a licence is deemed as an interruption of membership or contractual relationship (if any) within the meaning of this provision.

Article 13.A.10

If the License Applicant / Licensee carries out any changes whatsoever, at any stage during the term of 2019-2020 season or prior to the signing of the Club Licensing Agreement for the 2020-2021 season, to the name, nature, ownership structure, management structure, trademark, logo etc. pertaining to the legal status and/or brand and/or identity of the License Applicant / Licensee, without securing prior approval for the same from AIFF, then AIFF shall have the right to refuse grant of license, expel the License Applicant / Licensee’s team from any competitions and take any other such further action as may be deemed appropriate.

Representatives of both the parties are to meet on Wednesday afternoon to finalise the deal, which would see Minerva merging with RoundGlass with immediate effect. 

Minerva Punjab have also got in touch with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) seeking a clearance from the parent body for the deal to go through. 

"We are looking for a merger at the moment. Nothing beyond that. The deal will be signed by tomorrow (Thursday) if we agree on the financial details," revealed Ranjit Bajaj to Goal. 

RoundGlass is a venture capital firm that seeks to invest in the digital healthcare and wellness sectors. It was founded in 2014 by Gurpreet 'Sunny' Singh. He is also the CEO of Edifecs, a company providing integrated solutions for the healthcare ecosystem. He has also established SabTera, which works with under-resourced communities to provide schooling for children and sustainable employment for women.

They are currently working in 90 villages in Punjab and have implemented several initiatives including building football academies, installing solar panels, and establishing proper waste management mechanisms. 

In their football academies, boys and girls between the age group of 6 to 14 hone their skills across Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

In the event the AIFF gives Minerva the green light to carry out the sale, it remains to be seen whether the new ownership continues the fight Mr. Bajaj has led against the Indian FA over the issue of making ISL the de facto top league of the country.

In the last week, Bajaj has sent letters to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and FIFA over the same, seeking intervention from the two bodies.

Mr. Singh, founder of RoundGlass, remained unavailable for comment when Goal reached out to him. However, it is reliably learnt that RoundGlass are not inclined to fighting the AIFF over this issue.