After days of speculation, Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan was finally unveiled as the team owner of the Chennai franchise of the Indian Super League (ISL) during the official launch of the glamorous football league here Thursday.
The Chennai franchise will be run in association with Play on Skills, which has a technical collaboration with Italian Serie A giants Inter Milan. (Also read: ISL is platform to showcase Indian talent, says Tendulkar)
Abhishek, who also owns the Jaipur franchise of the Pro Kabaddi League, said his football venture was driven by passion. (Also read: Del Piero set to sign for Delhi Dynamos in ISL)
"About the knowledge part we should leave that to the team's technical director. We have set up a very able management team in Chennai and they will deal with the knowledge part. With regards to zeal, it is all driven by passion. Passion is very important when you are setting up something new and especially when it is of the magnitude of the Hero ISL," said Abhishek.
The Bollywood star said it would be difficult to drive the ISL if there is no passion.
"If there is a business model in place but no passion to drive it and to keep it at the forefront, it will be difficult to penetrate it deeper into the audience and fans. That as far as most of the people here are concerned, they are really keen to get in there, get down, get dirty, work hard and drive the ISL to the level that we believe it can attain. That is pretty much the game plan," said Abhishek.
Chennai franchise replaced Bangalore after its owners Sun Group pulled out at the last moment.
The inaugural ISL will be played across eight Indian cities from Oct 12 to Dec 20.