Ranjit Bajaj, the feisty owner of Minerva Punjab FC, has sold his remaining 50 per cent shares in the club as RoundGlass acquires full stakes in Punjab FC.
RoundGlass came on board last year in a 50-50 partnership with Bajaj, which saw the name of the club change from Minerva Punjab FC to only Punjab FC. A year later, they have taken over the club completely.
Bajaj confirmed the news in an interview saying he has already registered his academy as a new club and this is the beginning of a new rivalry in "Punjab football".
"Well, yes I have sold Punjab FC to RoundGlass Sports. They are doing extremely well. They are no new to the game. They have successfully run their academy here for the last couple of years before purchasing 50 per cent stake of our club in the previous season. But despite the change of the entity, people called it Minerva only and very few said Punjab FC. They have taken over the entire club this time and I believe this had been the best time for this to happen.
"But I haven't sold Minerva! The academy will be there with me and we have already registered it as a new club. In a way you can say, now there will be a new contest and rivalry in Punjab football," he told XtraTime.
Minerva Punjab FC was formed in 2013 and have since won every competition they have participated in except the Super Cup. Within two years of their existence, they won the Chandigarh State League to make it to I-League second division.
In their first appearance in the second division, they finished second and made it to the I-League. They won the title in the 2017-18 season, in what was only their second year in the league.
They have won the U-13 league in 2017, U16 leagues three times in a row from 2015-18 and the U-18 Elite League in 2018.
Despite such success, Bajaj said he sold the club because of AIFF and due to the fact that there will be no relegation-promotion in the top tier for the next three years.
"One of the main reasons behind selling Punjab FC was of course The AIFF. There will be no promotion and relegation in the next three seasons to play in the ISL. Even if we win the league I believe the AFC slot will be given to an ISL club like the way it happened this time. Hence I felt it would be sensible if I invest the money on youth.
"Now I will invest in my kids at Minerva Academy. I will produce more players for my country. I believe we can play FIFA World Cup in 2050 and the players who will represent India in there are yet to born. I will start the process from here on. So, in a way it's not the end of the chapter, but a beginning of a new book," he added.