Bhubaneswar: ISL franchise Odisha FC have appointed Raj Athwal as the club’s new president. It remains to be seen whether Raj can change the fortunes of the club that are currently languishing at the bottom of the ISL points table.
Raj has previously worked at clubs including Glasgow Rangers, Coventry City and Watford. Among the coaches he has worked with are include the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Gordon Strachan, Sean Dyche, Ally McCoist, Gary McAllister and Peter Reid.
“India is home to one of the biggest, and fastest growing economy in the world. Although cricket is widely considered as the nation’s favourite sport, it’s clear for all to see the incredible pace at which the popularity of football continues to grow in India with a population of over a billion people,” Raj said in a statement issued by Odisha FC.
Raj will be responsible for the club’s day to day operations and financial performance both on and off the field. “My objective is to make Odisha FC into a financially sustainable business, by returning a healthy growth in profits year on year,” Raj said.
“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 fanbase of 47 million people, but will fund community led projects, increase employment and help build a state-wide infrastructure conducive for future expansion and economic growth through national and international investment. I am really looking forward to settling into my new role and working with the staff at Odisha FC across all operations of the business,” Raj added.
Raj is hopeful that his cultural background and fluency in speaking and understanding Hindi will stand him in good stead.