FC Barcelona ambitious about expansion in India

European club champion, FC Barcelona, is to send a high-level delegation to India to assess market opportunities. "We are analysing our strategic plan on how we tackle the Indian market for the next five years. Our president Sandro Rosell will lead a team to India in September. We need to know how can the FC Barcelona brand can be expanded in the Indian market and what does it demand from the European clubs," Javier Faus, vice president, Financial, Economic and Strategic Area told the Times of India.

Mr Faus conceded that his club, despite its success, was not as well-followed as many English clubs, particularly Manchester United.

"The Spanish clubs, not only us but the rest of the Spanish clubs as well, we are behind the English clubs in exposure in India and also in Asia. You have to remember the English prominence in India, for over a hundred years ... we think that the way Barca plays now, and has the best stars is an advantage to enter into the market, and we'll definitely want to tap that potential," he said.

He also admitted that the Spanish League's planned moved to a later kick-off for top games was designed to attract television fans in Asia.

"I agree that if the Spanish league wants to become more global in Asia - in India and China, Japan and Indonesia -- they will need to start playing some games at an earlier time in the day. I agree. But that's not for FC Barcelona to decide unilaterally. That has to be decided by the whole Spanish league. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona, which are the strongest teams in the league, we do have the proposal on the table of the league," he said.