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Volume 6 No. 197


IMG-Reliance and Chelsea have "launched preliminary talks" that could lead to the English football club "partnering the Indo-American sports management company to develop a world-class football academy in India," according to Binoy Prabhakar of the TIMES OF INDIA. Chelsea will "bring the expertise to run the upcoming facility in Vadodara, said the first person, who is familiar with the club's negotiations with various football stakeholders in India." Reliance CEO Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, met Chelsea CEO Ron Gourlay in London recently "for the first round of discussions, he said, asking not to be named." For Chelsea, the tie-up with an established player -- IMG-Reliance is the commercial partner of football's governing body All India Football Federation -- will "clear the decks for entering the fast-growing Indian football market, which has caught the interest of other football powerhouses such as ManU and FC Barcelona." The source said that "a football academy is the easiest path to a new market, and Chelsea could not have landed a better partner than Reliance because of the Indian company's ability to absorb initial losses. The source added that "for IMG-Reliance, the deal could signify that things are finally falling into place" (TIMES OF INDIA, 11/10).

Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain "will unveil before the end of the year" the identity of the city that will be home to the club's new training ground, according to Solen Cherrier of LE JOURNAL DU DIMANCHE. The frontrunner appears to be Poissy with Saint-Germain-en Laye, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, Carrieres-sur-Seine and Montesson also still in the running. The new ground "will be modeled after the Arsenal training ground." Saint-Germian-en-Laye Mayor Emmauel Lamy "does not envision the club moving." Lamy said, "Saint-Germain is part of the DNA of PSG, so we are not on the same level as the other candidate cities. It would be a rupture of the club's history" (JDD, 11/11).