Liverpool Opening First Soccer Academy In India With Plans For More
EPL club Liverpool yesterday announced the launch of its “first official soccer academy in India, as it aims to spread the ‘beautiful game’ in a country where cricket is by far and away the dominant sport,” according to Will Davies of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The Steve McMahon Football Academy, named after the former Liverpool player who is a partner in the venture along with the club and India’s Carnoustie Group, will open this October in Noida, to the east of Delhi. Liverpool "hopes to enroll about 500 students aged eight to 16 who will be trained by professional coaches.” McMahon said that Liverpool also is “looking for another campus in Delhi, and hopes to expand to Mumbai and Goa, as well as south and northeast India next year.” He added, “One of our goals as a team is to get the next Indian footballer to play, hopefully, for Liverpool Football Club.” Liverpool Int'l Football Academy Head Steven Turner, also at yesterday's announcement, said that the club “wants to have ‘a footprint in every continent in the next three years,’ and has plans to expand its academy network to South America and countries including the U.S. and China, where he is visiting later this week.” He also indicated that Liverpool “might tour India in 2013” (WSJ.com, 8/24). BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Mehrotra & Katakey noted Liverpool “already has a partnership with an academy in the western India city of Pune.” The club is “further entrenching itself in Asia after playing exhibition matches in China and Malaysia in July, a year after Standard Charter PLC, which gets more than three-quarters of its profits from Asia, signed a sponsorship deal with the club” worth $134M. McMahon said, “This is not about the money, this is about me giving something back to the game” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/24).