IN WHAT CAN BE A GAME-CHANGING deal for Chennai City FC, the club is about to sign a major investment deal with a top division club from Switzerland.
Sources close to the situation have revealed to TFG that Swiss club FC Basel, a club with a history of 125 years and the second most successful club in that country's top division league with 20 titles, is about to buy controlling stakes in Chennai City FC.
The deal will have huge implications for CCFC. With a projected investment of about 15 million euros, the club will be able to double their efforts in building their infrastructure in Chennai, which includes a potential stadium of their own, and a year-long grassroots programme spread all over the state of Tamil Nadu.
The large investment also opens the possibility of Chennai City FC bidding for a place in the Indian Super League; but all that will depend on the approach taken by FC Basel, who with majority stakes will become the de facto owners of the club.
Sources have also confirmed that there will be an intensive player exchange programme will be implemented between Chennai City FC and FC Basel, with the best CCFC player of each season getting a trial with FC Basel. FC Basel will also lend coaching staff and other facilities to Chennai City FC. On their part, CCFC will also accommodate FC Basel in all their endeavours, including pre-match practices, and other operations including scouting. There is a good chance budding talents from FC Basel might be sent to Chennai City FC to gather experience, and the two clubs will play pre-season friendlies among themselves, from the junior teams to the senior squads.
The youth development network of Chennai City FC may also get a boost with the top talents from the academy being sent to Switzerland for training and exposure.
The large investment also guarantees that FC Basel's relationship with Chennai City, their approach to developing the club and their contributions to Indian football will be long term.
Several details of the deal will be revealed on 6th February in New Delhi at a press conference which will be attended by FC Basel president Mr Bernhard Burgener and CEO Mr Roland Heri. Senior AIFF officials including president Mr Praful Patel and general secretary Mr Kushal Das may also be present as guests at the event.
CORRECTION: On 6th February, FC Basel released a statement saying they are acquiring minority stakes in Chennai City FC, not majority stakes as earlier reported in this article. While the club has not disclosed the amount they are about to invest in CCFC, it has also disputed the amount of 15 million Euros mentioned in this article.