Date:Tuesday April 1 2008
Now that the Mittal family has joined the ever-increasing influx of wealthy investors out of India and into the European business market could QPR be a leading contender into the inevitable rush of Indian players?
A few months ago Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal followed in the footsteps of Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone and invested a tiny portion of his enormous fortune into Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
So what I hear you say?
Having bolstered Rangers coffers Lakshmi Mittal appointed his son-in-law Amit Bhatia as the club's vice-chairman to oversee the steel magnates' 20 per cent stake in the Loftus Road club.
Amit's feet were firmly on the floor when he spoke about the clubs future...
'We started off by setting a three-year target for promotion. If we didn't get promoted in three years, I don't think it would be a failure.'
'We would be disappointed, of course, but I am sure we are going to get there.
"I don't think any of us has got into this to be second best. We have a specific plan and we will do anything it requires to get the club where we want them to be.'
The current crop of Rangers players originate from these shores, however, how long will it take before fans begin to see players being brought in from further a-field?
The clubs hierarchy might be rich with Italian influence nevertheless, fans must remember there are new kids on the block.
Traditionally, Indian players haven't made it into the European football leagues. One of the main reasons is probably because very few, if any have made the grade, or perhaps it was because there were very few footballing links outside of India.
The India - English footballing link might be in it's infancy but how long will, or should it take before the Rangers scouts begin to take a look at India's brightest talent?
English football has become a major influence in India. Fans get their weekly fix of live Premier League games however that might not be enough.
With the Mittal family admitting they are huge fans of English football, not least Queens Park Rangers I wonder how many agents representing several of India's national team first choice players are rubbing their hands wondering how they can attract interested parties from good old blighty?
I am not suggesting R's boss Luigi De Canio is going to jump on the next flight to Delhi in a bid to find the next Ronaldo but what I am suggesting is come the summer, expect to see one or two of India's brightest talents on trial at Championship or lower league clubs, Queens Park Rangers being one.
According to the latest FIFA rankings India are perched at position 148.
To visit the official 'All India Federation' website and to view their current first choice team, click here.
Date:Tuesday April 1 2008
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