Abhishek Bachchan is the passionate co-owner of Chennaiyin FC (Image courtesy of ISL)
Chennaiyin FC were toppers of the Indian Super League stage last year but lost out in a close semi-final. Despite this year’s start not being as good as 2014, owner Abhishek Bachchan still seems upbeat about his team’s chances. In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, ‘Junior Bachchan’ tells us about the journey of Chennaiyin FC, his forays into sports and his unadulterated love for football.
First off, let me start by asking you about your sports ventures. With Jaipur Pink Panthers and Chennaiyin FC, was it a conscious effort from you to drift away from cricket?
No, not at all. When I made the decision to get into sports, I wanted to choose sports that I could genuinely make a contribution to. Cricket already has an up and running infrastructure in place, and a great management that has made it this huge sport in India.
So, with football and kabaddi, the strategy behind taking up these two sports, was to take up something that I could contribute to and help in building something big. By God’s grace, it has gone well so far, with Jaipur winning the first Kabaddi league, and Chennaiyin doing commendably last year.
With Chennaiyin FC, you were the last franchise to be formed last year. And in many ways, it was a gamble in appointing Marco Materazzi as head coach, considering that he was an unknown quantity as a manager. How did you arrive at that decision?
When Vita (Dani, co-owner of Chennaiyin FC) and I first sat down and discussed it, I was clear about the way I wanted the club structured. As a manager, I wanted someone who was a towering personality. Someone who would boss the changing room because that is very important. I wanted somebody that all our players, both local and international, would look up to.
And Marco [Materazzi] fit the bill. Obviously, he came here with a reputation; a reputation that I think precedes him sometimes. But what he has achieved on a world stage, let alone the club stage, is incredible. ref – Yahoo.com