Indian Super League side, Odisha Football Club, have named experienced football executive Raj Athwal as their new club President.
Athwal, who has worked in various roles for clubs including Glasgow Rangers, Coventry City and Watford, began his new role in December 2020, having turned down opportunities in the UK to take on this exciting challenge in India.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, Athwal said: “India is home to one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world. It’s clear to see the incredible pace at which the popularity of football continues to grow in a country with a population of over 1 billion people.”
As President, Athwal will be responsible for the club’s day-to-day operations and financial performance both on and off the field. Some of the world’s largest companies have recently made the state of Odisha their new home, and many more are earmarked to follow suit.
Athwal added: “The exciting prospect of creating and harnessing mutually beneficial relationships with some of the world’s biggest organisations will not only benefit the football club which has a potential fan base of 47 million people, but will fund community-led projects, increase employment and help build a state-wide infrastructure conducive to future expansion and economic growth through national and international investment.
“My objective is to make Odisha Football Club into a financially sustainable business, by returning a healthy growth in profits year on year. I am really looking forward to settling into my new role and working with the staff at the club, across all operations of the business. Hopefully, my cultural background and fluency in speaking and understanding the country’s national language will ease my transition in to the role.”
Club Chief Executive Officer, Rohan Sharma, said: “I very much look forward to welcoming Raj to Odisha once it is safe to travel. Raj brings a lot of experience and leadership having been a part of many wonderful and historic clubs in the UK. I feel that he is the right person to help us achieve our lofty ambitions.”
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