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Former Sunderland, Rangers chief to lead ISL’s commercial arm

Martin Bain, the new CEO of the Indian Super League. (Image credit: Indian Super League)

Experienced Scottish football executive Martin Bain has been appointed chief executive of Football Sports Development Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Super League.

Bain has previously served as chief executive of Scottish team Glasgow Rangers, a director of the Scottish Premier League, chief executive of Israeli team Maccabi Tel-Aviv, and chief executive of Sunderland AFC.

The Indian Super League was this week confirmed by the Asian Football Confederation as India’s top league. It was created by IMG-Reliance, the sports and entertainment marketing joint-venture by international agency IMG and Indian conglomerate Reliance.

Commenting on his appointment, Bain said: “Indian football has progressed rapidly over the last few years. The world has taken notice of India and the potential it holds. I am very eager at the prospect of what the Indian football can achieve under the guidance of Mrs. Nita Ambani and I am immensely happy to be presented with this opportunity to work on her vision for the sport in the country.”

Ambani, the chairperson of FSDL, said: “I welcome Martin to India and at FSDL. Martin brings with him vast experience of being a successful administrator and I am sure his know-how of the global sport will immensely help the Indian football.”

Ambani is the wife of Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani, and they are among the wealthiest families in India. She is also owner of Indian Premier League cricket team the Mumbai Indians, a non-executive director of Reliance Industries, and a well-known philanthropist.