Sachin Tendulkar co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Kerala Blasters has added a consortium of investors, including Telugu film stars Chiranjeevi and Akkineni Nagarjuna.
Besides the duo, two other new co-owners are leading film producer Allu Arvind and industrialist and serial entrepreneur Nimmagadda Prasad.
The consortium has purchased stake in Blasters Sports Pvt Ltd, the owners of Kerala Blasters Football Club.
Tendulkar, will continue to be a co-owner of Kerala Blasters holding a significant stake.
Speaking at press briefing here on the occasion of announcement of new co-owners, Tendulkar said: "We are beginning our third season in right earnest and have some of the biggest names coming on board as investors in Kerala Blasters."
"Last couple of seasons, watching football has been exciting," the master blaster said.
Tendulkar said he values the support he had received from each of his fans.
"Not always I performed well. There were obstacles on a number of occasions. That is what you need to practice to face challenges and overcome them," he said.
"Kerala Blasters in the first season performed really well, but the second year was difficult, which was absolutely normal in sport," he said.
"Many guys tried to tell me many things. But being a sportsman, I exactly understand how hard players go and try. I felt fans motivated them, so they go and give their best. I have no doubt that this season the fans will stay with Kerala Blasters and make them give their best.
"I feel when passion and profession gets together, the results follows. Everyone is passionate about football. There is lot of planning and thinking going on behind the scenes now. The target is to lift the trophy this season," Tendulkar added.
Telugu Superstar Chiranjeevi said being part of the association was a new experience to him.
Chiranjeevi said he had essayed roles of a footballer --a goalkeeper and coach in two of his films.
Stressing that sports should become an integral part of children's education, fellow actor Nagarjuna said unfortunately the country was lagging behind in sports.
(With inputs from Sneha Mary Koshy)