September 18, 2021

Akshay Tandon: RB Leipzig are committed to FC Goa partnership

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The FC Goa President wants to make the first step ‘as big as possible’…

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Goa have signed a strategic deal with RB Leipzig that lasts till June 30, 2023.

The Bundesliga side has been working closely with FC Goa for quite some time as assistant coach Clifford Miranda visited Leipzig’s facilities as part of a module to complete his AFC Pro Diploma Coaching Course license. 

This partnership will open a window of opportunities for players to travel to Germany and further hone their skills. But currently due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, only online correspondence courses will be taking place. 

Gaurs’ President Akshay Tandon was jubilant after the deal was announced and he explained why RB Leipzig is the perfect choice. 

“Before owning a football club (FC Goa), I have always been a fan of the Red Bull brand in any sport they have entered. They have come in and made an impact in a short time. They know exactly what they are doing and all this is ultimately about being able to technically provide the knowledge and the support and the pathway we need for building up Indian footballers to the global level.

“Unlike a lot of the other clubs who have a lot of history, we found that it was a fairly smooth, professional and straightforward affair with Leipzig and we found that they were the perfect partners for us,” stated Tandon. 

Many Indian Super League (ISL) clubs have collaborated with various European giants to improve the sporting and technical skillset. Recently, Hyderabad FC entered into a partnership with Borussia Dortmund and Jamshedpur FC have an existing collaboration with Atletico Madrid

Tandon stated that this deal is unique in its own way and there has been no payment involved of any sorts. 

“I think the biggest difference is the fact that most of the previous partnerships have been some sort of licensing deals. Here both clubs are investing equally into specific programs with specific agenda of mapping up and developing Indian footballers. It’s also about extending each other’s knowledge of how that pathway can be bettered for the future.

“This is the first step. We are thankful that we are not having conversation about how much we have to pay in licensing the brand of some club. There isn’t a monetary aspect to this. The roll out (announcement) was not anticipated like this. We were scheduled to hold a pilot on-ground soccer school program in April but it got cancelled due to the pandemic. So we began very quickly to begin an online program and we ran a few digital pilot programs from which we got our confidence.”

He believes that both clubs have a similar philosophy which increases the scope for future investments. 

“I don’t think anything is going to change as far as what our style is. What we like about how Leipzig plays is very much how we play. We had an example several months ago when Clifford Miranda was in Germany with RB Leipzig completing his Pro License. Things like that were already happening without any contract being signed. So you can see that we have been talking similar languages and they were willing to support our technical ambitions. 

“I think it is important to take things one step at a time. We think it’s very important for the two clubs to find rhythm and be able to work together in a collaborative manner. I wouldn’t call it preliminary because we are putting in a lot of work and it’s going to be a lot of investment of resources. So at this point, our conversation and our engagement is limited into making this first step as big as possible. As we engage more, I’m sure we will do more and more things in the future,” concluded the FC Goa co-owner.