First, it was Salman Khan and that was never to be. Then came Hrithik Roshan, that is all over, too. And now, Arjun Kapoor is the third celebrity owner of Pune City FC in as many years.
Hrithik “stays as the co-owner” but Kapoor will be the face of the club ownership. KRAs changed. The celebrity owner is no more the face of the club. The celebrity face of the club is also an owner now. Complex situation. Yet simple in commercial terms. “Hrithik will retain his shares in the club ownership. But due to his busy schedule, he is not able to commit time to the club. He has extended good wishes to the club,” Gaurav Modwel, CEO, Pune City FC, told insidesport.co
Arjun Kapoor is officially announced, the new celebrity owner of the Club at a function in Pune on Thursday. “FC Pune City welcomes Arjun Kapoor as the co-owner of the club. Arjun is not only a youth icon but also a footballer at heart. His passion for the sport is well known and he is a very astute observer of the game. His involvement with the club will surely give an impetus to us to connect with a larger audience across the State as well as nationally,” Modwel said.
Arjun Kapoor, who attended only “a couple of club matches” over the three years as its brand ambassador, now finds the “luxury of being 100% involved with the team” as a co-owner. “I want to be a part of this movement that helps in bringing more Indian footballers to the fore. I want to get embedded in such a way that I want to be a part of the running of the club. I have not joined just to click photos and be the face and go home. I want to be aware, I want to be involved and I want to connect with the city because Pune is waiting to find that connect,” he said.
“I love football and have grown up watching and playing the sport. I still actively play with my friends, who also are co-owners at various clubs in ISL. What FC Pune City as a club is doing with football is tremendous and it seemed a natural fit for me to join them in their endeavour to develop a professional eco-system of football across Maharashtra. Our collective enthusiasm is in creating a special and aspirational football team,” said Kapoor on his elevation to the status of a proud ISL team owner.
“I don’t want a one or two year-connect as I want it to be a longer one. I want to sit down with the owners and make plans with them, which we have already started doing. Hopefully, everyone will see it come to life in the next eight months,” adds Kapoor.
“I am extremely proud to announce and warmly welcome Arjun to the FC Pune City family. In Arjun, we not only have a co-owner but also an accomplished football aficionado and a big fan. Combined with his star power, his knowledge and passion for the sport make him a perfect fit for our club,” team owner Kartik Wadhawan said.
The ownership comes with a bigger onus than just being the celebrity face of the club. “Arjun will have an immediate task of increasing the fan base for the club. Pune is a young city. His celebrity quotient will make the youngsters to come to the stadium and associate this growing sport in the country. This will also create a loyal fan base for the club,” adds Modwel.
Strong commitment shown by Arjun Kapoor may not settle the turbulence around clubs celebrity quotient, an important aspect of ISL franchisees which boast of names like Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan, but the next big challenge is to change on-field fortunes for the club that is looking for its first qualification beyond group stage in three years.