Odisha FC announced the appointment of Raj Athwal as the club’s new president. As President, Raj will be responsible for the club’s day to day operations and financial performance both on and off the field.
Raj Athwal has previously worked at clubs including; Glasgow Rangers, Coventry City and Watford is set to bring 25 years’ of experience of working in the higher echelons of British football to India’s top-flight league.
Raj has also worked with some top coaches in the footballing world like Brendan Rodgers, Gordon Strachan, Sean Dyche, Ally McCoist, Gary McAllister, Peter Reid, Rob Page (current Wales manager), Nigel Clough.
At the appointment, Raj Athwal said, “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 a country with a population of over a billion people.”
“My objective is to make Odisha FC into a financially sustainable business, by returning a healthy growth in profits year on year,” he added.
Raj explains, “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. Hopefully, my cultural background and fluency in speaking and understanding Hindi will stand me in good stead,” he said.
Odisha FC CEO, Rohan Sharma expressed his excitement for the hire, “I very much look forward to welcoming Raj to Odisha once it is safe to travel. Raj brings a lot of experience and leadership having been apart of many wonderful and historic clubs in the UK. I feel that he is the right person to help us achieve our lofty ambitions.”