South United in new hands

Football: Mumbai industrialist Parikh takes over city club

South United in new hands

Reluctance of private entrepreneurs to invest in football is a problem that the beautiful game has faced in India for long. But in the last few years, the scene has changed with a handful of private firms coming forward with a common goal of improving the game in the country.

In one such development, South United FC, a well known football club in the city, on Wednesday was taken over by Sharan Parikh, an industrialist and a football enthusiast. Sharan, who serves as the Cheif Executive of Lemuir Express, a logistics firm, will assume complete control of the club from APNA Group which formed the team three years ago with a goal of nurturing local talent.

“It is my football craze that has led me to make this move. I believe, if one wants to bring about a change in the footballing scenario in our country, he has to get involved in the game actively and bring about the change he desires for. And I think this provides me with a great platform to involve myself with the game,” said Parikh, who takes over as the Director of the club.

Known for their policy of developing raw talent and providing youngsters with a chance to flourish, South United in the past has given out quality players in their brief history of three years. Amoes, who plays for Mumbai FC in the I-League being one of them. Loknath Char, who has been the CEO of the club since its inception assured that the new stakeholder will stick with the club’s ethos of being a team made up of Indians alone and will provide opportunities to youngsters who posses quality to make it big in the game.
“I can assure you that the club will continue to stick to its goal of being a team with Indian players alone,” said Loknath.

“We have a plan in place with it’s immediate focus on grassroot development. Developing the footballing infrastructure and launching a series of short sports education courses that will help those who want to pursue a career in sport is our short term goal .”

Throwing light on their future plans, Loknath said that the club would work with an exciting bunch of youngsters competing in the local league and in due course it would  make strides into the I-League.

“To play and win the top tier football is one of our goals. But, we don’t want to rush into it,” said Loknath.

“We are looking to work with the current squad and develop them. When the team is ready, in future, we definitely will get into the I-League. ”

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