Robert Klein, CEO of Bundesliga International, revealed that two German outfits are in talks with Indian Super League (ISL) clubs during his keynote address at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) convention on the business of football in India - GOAL 2019.
"I can tell that there are two Bundesliga clubs currently in negotiations with Indian Super League (ISL) clubs although I cannot reveal their names. I think calling India a sleeping giant is a mistake. The giant has woken," he stated.
Klein emphasised that Bundesliga will step foot in India only with a long-term vision and plan.
"Some of the previous European clubs coming into India had a short-term vision. That is not how we (Bundesliga) like to operate. For us, it's about the long-term vision and sustainability."
Although he acknowledges that cricket remains the number one sport in the country, he believes that football also has the potential to flourish.
"Yes, cricket is the major big brother in India but I can say that many people who are fans of cricket are also sports fans. That is, some of them are also football fans. If you see in India, there are three-four major footballing regions or hubs like NorthEast, Kerala and Goa. You can say these regions contain 10 per cent of India’s population which would be around 130 million. Even that number is greater than what is present in any European country so the potential is huge.
"You can move forward in a way in which both sports (Cricket and football) can co-exist together by not cannibalizing each other's space with regards to the scheduling," stated Klein.