With the Kalyani Group abandoning its football ambitions by shutting their Bharat FC first-team operations and Pune FC exiting the I-League, Pune will now have a new football team with DSK Group as its owners.
DSK Shivajians will make its debut on January 17 at Sporting Club de Goa. The DSK Group is also set to build its own football stadium in Pune.
DSK Shivajians, set up in 1987, has been participating in the second division of I-League and will now be the official team representing Pune. DSK has a youth academy and its players include Chhangte Lallianzuala who starred for India in SAFF semi final against Nepal.
“DSK Shivajians had been aspiring to get into the senior league for a long time and this is a progression of the club to share the stage with some of the biggest names in Indian football,” Shirish Kulkarni, president of DSK Shivajians said in Pune on Tuesday. The DSK Group that is into real estate is building a 10,000 capacity football stadium at its DSK Dream City township in Pune and construction will begin in February, Kulkarni said.
The stadium is being built by Populous group, who have constructed Wembley and Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Kulkarni said.
Ardeshir Jeejeebhoy, CEO of the DSK Shivajians said they were preparing for this big leap for many years and waited for a couple of years as they wanted to develop their own academy.
With their first team playing and winning against big clubs like Dempo SC and Bengaluru FC they were confident of competing with the leading football clubs in India, Jeejeebhoy said.