In what could be a wedding between football and cricket, sources have claimed that the reason behind the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) extending the date for purchasing the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for two new teams in IPL, is that owners of the renowned football club Manchester United have shown an interest in owning an IPL franchise.
On September 21, BCCI informed that they have decided to extend the date for purchasing the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the right to own and operate one of two proposed new IPL teams document till October 10 from the initial deadline of October 5.
As per reports, the Glazer family that owns the football club Manchester United has reportedly shown interest in owning one of the two new franchises. Other companies interested in owning an IPL team are Adani Group, Torrent Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, Hindustan Times Media, Jindal Steel (led by Naveen Jindal), entrepreneur Ronnie Screwwala and three private equity players.
“Well yes, it is true that they have shown interest and that may be one of the reasons why the dateline was extended by the BCCI. IPL is not just restricted to India, it is a global entity now. So, technically, overseas investors are eligible to submit a bid if they meet these conditions. We don’t really know whether Man U owners will come to the bidding table. What we certainly know is that they’ve shown interest,” the source told ANI about Manchester United’s interest in the IPL franchise.
“A lot of people usually pick these tender documents to study and gather the information that tends to be otherwise very useful from a larger industry perspective. For instance, buying a bid document will tell me more about what the BCCI is planning next, in terms of the league expansion, etc. For instance, if Disney has bought the tender document to buy the franchise, it doesn’t mean Disney is interested in owning a franchise. It will study the document because it has to plan its own media rights landscape,” those tracking developments told Times of India.
Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Guwahati, Cuttack, Indore, and Dharamsala are among the cities that will remain topmost on the minds of investors as they go about preparing to bid for the two new franchises.
“Obviously, Ahmedabad will be top priority because of the brand new 1.10 lac capacity stadium and the kind of following the state has for the game of cricket. To be honest, Ahmedabad is long due to have an IPL franchise of its own. Since 2010, they have shown interest and had in fact come to the bidding table back then,” sources added.
The BCCI is yet to confirm anything on whether the final date of submissions will further be delayed from October 25. The formal announcement is expected to be made on the 26th and the bids will be submitted in the UAE.