Tata Steel successfully bid for the Jamshedpur franchise in 2017 to have its own football club participate in the coveted Indian Super League (ISL). The steel giant, which has been a pioneer in the development of sports in India, won the bid with Jamshedpur as the host city and participated in the ISL by the name Jamshedpur Football Club.
The club play their home matches at the iconic JRD Tata Sports Complex also fondly known as ‘The Furnace’ which has the highest average attendance for the ISL matches since the formation of the club (over 20,000).
In its first two seasons, the club finished 5th on the Hero ISL table, narrowly missing out on the semi-finals. The club also reached the quarter-finals of the Super Cup in April 2018. In 2019, the club finished 8th under the Spanish head coach, Antonio Iriondo. For Season 2020-21, the club made some major changes at their helm as they appointed the English manager, Owen Coyle, who has led English Premier League clubs like Burnley and Bolton Wanderers, MLS Club Houston Dynamo, and Hero ISL club Chennaiyin FC (where he took the struggling bottom-placed club to reach the 2019-20 final). Witnessing an uptick in the performance as the club finished 6th on the Hero ISL table, Jamshedpur FC continued working under the guidance of Owen Coyle for the 2021-22 season as well and will now be aiming to break the deadlock and qualify for the playoffs.
Tata’s commitment to sports in India Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata envisaged not only Asia's first fully integrated Steel Plant but also the model township of Jamshedpur. He advised his son, Sir Dorab Tata, to earmark "areas for Football, Hockey and Parks….".
Tata Steel's commitment to sports, in fact, preceded the building of the township. The aforesaid letter was written in 1902 and the site for Jamshedpur selected in 1907. J. R. D. Tata gave fruition to J. N. Tata's vision, inculcating sports as an integral part of Tata Steel's corporate philosophy.
Under JRD Tata’s stewardship Tata Steel introduced world class football to India through the famous Super Soccer series. Some of the top clubs of Europe and South America played against India’s best.
Tata Football Academy, in fact, was established while J.R.D. Tata was the Company's Chairman and became a reality with his active support. A keen and skillful sportsman himself, J.R.D. Tata provided great encouragement to all sports disciplines. The academy has many accolades to its credit and has produced over 150 players who have gone on to represent the Indian national team.
Keeping to its commitment to develop sports from the ground-up, Tata Steel also hosts the annual community football cup where over 25,000 locals participate.
The formation of Jamshedpur FC created a deeper engagement with the community via various grassroot and youth development programmes run by the club across Jamshedpur and across Jharkhand with Tata Steel Foundation. With multiple football schools and training centers engaging over 3,000 kids, with Football Festivals and Tournaments, and also developing over 200 trainers and coaches, Jamshedpur FC has made major strides in Indian Football in a very short period of time. And the journey continues…