After Mahindra, now JCT disbands football club

June 20th, 2011 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Corporates are washing their hands of Indian football. After Mahindra and Mahindra, now JCT has decided to wind up its Phagwara-based popular club for, what it says, the lack of mileage from the I-League.

Like Mahindra and Mahindra, JCT are former national league champions, but they have been struggling financially for the past few seasons and as speculated they have decided to disband the team after their relegation from the premier division of the I-League this season.

The club in a statement Monday stated that “today football teams worldwide have become self-sustaining enterprises for which high exposure is needed to build viewership and spectators in the stadium. JCT won the inaugural national league in 1996, where there was high quality TV exposure and widespread public interest. But since then the league has had negligible exposure and the teams have been going almost unnoticed.”

The club said it has decided to pull out till football in India shows some possibility of generating value for corporates and their brands, besides fetching popularity for football among youngsters.

“JCT Limited being a corporate needs to justify to its stakeholders the effort vs. visibility of the football team,” the statement added.

JCT, formed in 1971, won the inaugural national league in 1996 and has produced several top-class footballers.

Club president Samir Thapar, however, will continue his association with football as the president of the Punjab Football Association (PFA) and will continue to work with passion for strengthening the sport at grassroots in Punjab through JCT Football Academy, the company said.

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