In the landscape of Indian football, the I-League has always been viewed as a bit of a poor step-brother of the much richer and much more glamorous Indian Super League. Yet it could be argued that the I-league has done more for the advancement of Indian football by promoting some amazing new talents and giving heart-warming stories like Aizawl FC and Minerva Punjab’s title wins.
The league could soon receive a major boost now with reports emerging that Swiss giants and European-competition regulars FC Basel are set to acquire a controlling stake into I-League table-leaders Chennai City FC. Yes, the same FC Basel, which gave a platform to global superstars like Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Elneny.
According to various reports, FC Basel will make major investments in the Chennai-based club not only in terms of financial resources but also help them to develop their infrastructure and spread their base at a grassroots level.
A report in The Fan Garage has stated that the financial investment by FC Basel who are one of the biggest clubs in Switzerland and has won 20 league titles will reach up to a whopping 15 million Euros. This will allow Chennai City FC to upgrade their training facilities, build a potential stadium of their own and also start up a year-long grassroots programme spread all across the state of Tamil Nadu.
The tie-up will also see FC Basel send their own coaches to help the Indian club in their operations. The report also states that the best talents from the club will also be sent to Switzerland to train with the Basel reserves and will earn a trial with the club. Vice-versa, players from Basel could also be loaned out for Chennai City FC to earn valuable experience and playing time.
All in all, the move could be a major shot in the arm for Indian football due to the major investments and improved infrastructure it will bring along with it.