Thursday, May 31, 2012

After IPL, Shah Rukh Khan leads race to pick 50% stake in Goa based Dempo Football Club for Rs 30 crore

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan is acquiring a 50% shareholding in one of India's oldest and most successful football clubs, Dempo FC, for around Rs 30 crore, signalling the movie star's growing interest in the business of sports.

Negotiations are at an advanced stage and the deal should close in a week or two, officials from both sides confirmed. Khan, whose cricket team won this year's Indian Premier League, confirmed he is buying the club, but refused to share details.

People familiar with the negotiations said Khan was not the only one bidding for a piece of the football pie. An ace Indian cricketer, known to be a keen footballer himself, and a few corporate houses had also thrown their hats into the ring.

But Khan has emerged as the leading suitor, the officials said. Dempo, fully-owned by a business group of the same name in Goa, made history in April this year when it won the I-League crown for a record fifth time. It recently bought a 34% stake in leading Danish soccer club and academy FC Midtjylland, for 12 million euros.

The owner of Dempo FC, Shrinivas V Dempo, whose grandfather adopted the club four decades ago and nurtured it, confirmed that he had met Khan several times and the talks "have been very positive, though not yet closed". He said the winner will not get a majority stake in the club, which will retain its name.

People close to the deal said the club, being old and successful, is roughly valued at about 50-60 crore.

Khan, who co-owns Kolkata Knight Riders, the winner of IPL-V, has been a keen sportsman since school days. He has been trying to diversify into sports under the overall framework of the entertainment business run through Red Chillies Entertainment.

SRK's Brand Equity to Help Soccer

It could not be ascertained if Khan was routing his potential investment in Dempo through Red Chillies, which is also an investor in the Kolkata IPL franchisee.

What Khan brings to the table is his personal brand equity, which, sports observers say, will help not only Dempo, but also Indian football gain traction both on the field and on television. Khan's entry into the soccer club could bring in more sponsors and advertisement money. The world's most popular game has not been a very profitable proposition in India, where cricket rules the roost.

Dempo spends close to Rs 12 crore a year to run the team. The club recently lost its star goal scorer Ranti Martins to Kolkata's Prayag United, since he had demanded a paycheque of Rs 2 crore.

Dempo, managed by 58-year-old Armando Colaco since 2000, has ended the stranglehold of the Kolkata giants - Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting - over Indian football. Continuity has helped Colaco and his players win a record five national championships over the past decade.

Article Source:éférencement-163779.htm

Monday, May 28, 2012

Katrina, Salman skip Karan Johar's birthday bash

Having attended her kid-brother's graduation in culinary arts in Zurich, at precisely 1.30 am on Friday-Saturday morning Priyanka Chopra flew straight from the airport to the Taj Lands End, the venue for Karan Johar's extravagantly-discussed birthday extravaganza. She was one of the last guests to arrive and one of the last to leave. Having landed hours ago Priyanka displayed no sign of jetlag or fatigue.

Says a very khaas mehmaan at the Johar jamboree, "In fact Priyanka was in specially high spirits that evening. Looking radiant, animated and chattering nineteen-to-the-dozen, Priyanka looked triumphant, and why not? She had been put back on Johar's guest list after being knocked off."

Throughout the evening Priaynka was seen talking and whispering into Johar's ears but discreetly avoiding contact-eye or otherwise-with Johar's best friend Shah Rukh Khan. It was a mixed triumph for Priyanka. As she was allowed into the coveted party only after Mrs Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri, granted permission.

The imposing Mrs Khan has laid down certain ground rules for her husband vis-a-vis Ms Chopra: no films together and no hobnobbing socially beyond niceties. Incidentally Mrs Khan had laid down similar rules for her husband vis-a-vis Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherjee. But that's another story.

Meanwhile back at the most hotly-discussed party of the millennium, it was a formal affair with elaborate arrangements. Says one of the top actresses who attended, "It was a sit-in dinner with loads of Punjabi khana. Because that's what KJO loves.The glamorous decor was stylishly designed by Manish Malhotra. It was good to see the stars dressed in formals rather than the tee-shirts some of them wear even to formal events."

Most of Karan Johar's friends from the film industry(which means nearly everyone) turned up. Conspicuous by their absence were Salman Khan and Johar's chikni chameli Katrina Kaif, both of whom are currently shooting in Bangkok. Unlike Sanjay Dutt who left his shooting in Jodhpur for Soham Shah's Sher for an evening to be in Mumbai for his new pal KJO's 'Happy Burday' Katrina and Salman gave the event a skip for different seasons.

Salman, a source close to him informs, gave in to KJO's persuasive powers and said yes to the invitation in spite of knowing 'he' (read: SRK) would be there. But then friends advised Salman against providing titillating fodder for the shutterbugs. Also a co-star whom Salman trusts blindly reminded him what had transpired at another birthday bash in 2008 (Katrina's) where Salman and SRK nearly came to blows. That clinched the matter. No Salman at the Johar bash.

As for Katrina she was advised to fly down for Karan's sake. Those close to her said it would be good PR. But then a member of her staff made the mistake of pointing out to Katrina that flying down for the event was imperative since Priyanka Chopra too was doing the same. That did it.

Says a friend of Katrina, "Never tell Kat to do something just because someone else is doing the same. Kat loves KJO and recently did the chikni chameli song for him free of cost. It's another matter that KJO didn't gift her the promised Ferrari. Or that she is yet to sign on a full-fledged heroine's role in Dharma. Katrina would have still flown down from Bagkok. But when she heard Priyanka was flying straight in from Zurich, Kat decided not to. It would make her seem like she was vying for space in the Dharma scheme of things."
Not that Salman or Katrina were missed. There was plenty of excitement on the guest list. Vidya Balan (trying hard to convince everyone around that she hadn't heard any negative comments on her lavni item song in Ferrari Ki Sawari)and boyfriend Siddharth Roy Kapoor made their first together appearance at a filmy do.

Says a guest at KJO's bash, "The couple made no attempt to hide their feelings. Kapoor looked after Vidya like a good husband and even fed her from his plate." Incidentally Mr Kapoor is keen to tie the knot immediately. But Ms Balan's spiralling box office fortunes are proving the villain.

Other guests at the star-studded party were Tabu and Urmila Matondkar (talking animatedly maybe about spinsterhood), Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Shahid Kapoor, Bipasha Basu (no, the last two-named were not together), Anushka Sharma, Arjun Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut, Boman Irani, Kangna Ranaut, Yash Chopra, Ashutosh Gowariker, Rahul Bose, Ronit Roy, Uday Chopra.

Jaya Bachchan arrived solo. And, Rekha didn't show up to do another Silsila for the paparazzi outside parliament. Johar's 'Amit Uncle' Mr Bachchan and Abhishek are abroad for the former's treatment. Says an appreciative guest, "There were no glitches, no stress. No one misbehaved or got drunk.It was wonderfully organized. There was a sitdown dining area and the food was served with warmth and for a change we all actually ate at a party. KJO had asked everyone not to reach his party after dinner. And there was a separate room for desserts.It was all very stylish. We left by 1.30 am. But the party went on till 4 am."

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Anupama Chopra's review: Too many wrinkles

Love, Wrinkle-Free is one of those films that mix charm and tedium in equal doses.

 Debutant director and writer Sandeep Mohan creates a clutch of quirky, permanently perplexed characters who are all struggling. The best among them is Savio, played well by Ash Chandler, a sales manager in an underwear firm who dreams of launching his own business making edible underwear with ethnic flavours, such as vindaloo and bebinca. Savio’s older wife, who only wants to be in the church choir, finds herself pregnant at 46. They already have a surly, teenage adopted daughter who asks for R50,000. When the parents inquire why, she says it is “personal.”

For a while, Mohan keeps the film chugging with nice lines and fun. For instance, at one point, Savio wonders if Eat Me is the right name for his brand. But it then becomes purposefully convoluted, with too many sub-plots, and just flat-out silly. 

Mohan strains to imbue depth and poignancy into the narrative but by then Savio and gang start to feel like guests who have seriously overstayed their welcome.
What works better are the lovely shots of Goa beaches and swaying palm trees. This film will make you want to visit the place soon.

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