Just a few weeks after the end of Indian Super League (ISL) 2016 season, Delhi Dynamos announced the club has decided to part ways with president Prashant Agarwal. Speaking in an interview to Indian Express, Delhi Dynamos Director, Rohan Sharma, said the club is not just about one person. “All the fans, the coaches, the players and the staff has put so much effort to build this Club. We owe them more than just reaching semi-finals,” he said.
Prashant, who joined Dynamos in 2015, played a key role in bringing several marquee players/coaches including Roberto Carlos and Florent Malouda to the club. He also set up youth academy, several grassroot programs and infrastructure for women’s football. But Prashant was unable to convert all the administrative work into a Cup victory.
The Roaring Lions again failed to reach the final in the third ISL season after losing against Kerala Blasters in the semi-final. But several DD players including the top goal-scorer Marcelinho, Malouda and Kean Lewis made headlines with strong performances. Describing the season as “bitter-sweet”, Sharma said it was a success from technical point of view but not from commercial perspective.
“From a technical point of view it was a very good season. From a commercial perspective, it hasn’t been great as things were not organised well, the performance in getting sponsorship was really poor and there was little transparency in the day-to-day affairs,” he said.
Thanking Agarwal for putting the groundwork in place, Sharma urged it is time to take the club to new heights. “We are taking the club to a whole new level through partnerships and synergies. We’ve already started holding meetings and discussions with an aim to achieve our targets for the coaches, team, sponsorship and Club associations. We are adding fresh faces and are looking forward to announcing the coming of our new CEO in the following days,” he said.
Prashant spoke to Indian Express and said difference in ideologies with the new investors led him to make the “tough decision”. Choosing to not delve further into the reasons, Agarwal said, “Some of the recent actions did not match my vision. I believe the core values of the sport must not be compromised when running a football club.”
After his resignation, Prashant received plenty of support from fans and former DD players including Robin Singh, Malouda, Marcelinho and Anas Edathodika. “I am thankful to everyone for sending their wishes. The response from everyone shows we built something more than a club, we built a family,” Prashant said.
Gearing up to move ahead with his new venture, Prashant admitted he is worried about the club’s future. “Delhi Dynamos was my life. My best wishes are always with the club. But the way the things are, I am a bit worried about the direction in which it might be going,” he said.