The RPSG Group, an Indian conglomerate, won the bid for the Lucknow franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday. The winning bid was of Rs 7,090 crore, the BCCI revealed in a press release. This is not the first time that RPSG Group has made a foray into sports. The group had earlier owned IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiant (2016-17 seasons), and currently are majority owners of Indian Super League (ISL) club ATK Mohun Bagan.
In an exclusive interview to NDTV, RPSG Group chairman Sanjiv Goenka spoke about the reason behind buying an IPL team.
“Bidding was a hobby earlier but now it’s a business. I hope the value of the franchise appreciates to Rs 10,000 crore in 3 to 4 years,” Goenka said.
Having paid such a huge amount for owning the team, Goenka spoke about the rationale behind paying more than Rs 7,000 crore for the Lucknow franchise.
“I don’t think it’s a high value. It is a fair value. One is bound to face an operating loss but one doesn’t bid these numbers based on passion. There is an economic and scientific decision behind bidding these high numbers,” Goenka said.
Goenka further spoke about his business interests in Uttar Pradesh, which he said was the reason behind bidding for the Lucknow franchise.
“Hope this decision helps me connect with the consumers. We chose the Lucknow franchise because of our business interests in Uttar Pradesh. It is an important base for my business.
“This is a franchise for perpetuity and not just for the 2022 season,” Goenka stressed.
The Lucknow team will get a chance to form a strong team with a big player auction set to take place ahead of IPL 2022.
Goenka, who had experienced players like MS Dhoni and Steve Smith in the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise, that he owned and operated for two seasons, said that he will look to build a team around young players this time.
“A young and determined team can still work well. We will build team around a younger lot of players. I feel the young cricketers are equally competent,” Goenka said.
The other franchise, based out of Ahmedabad, was bought by CVC Capital Partners, a private equity and investment advisory firm, for Rs 5,625 crore.
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