Fleetwood Town have announced a ‘historical’ partnership with Uzbekistan team Lokomotiv Tashkent.
In a bizarre and surprising announcement, the two clubs will sign a historic partnership agreement that will see both sides share their on and off-field experience.
Lokomotiv Tashkent play in the Uzbekistan’s Premier League and finished runners up this season and also lifted their domestic cup.
The Uzbekistan club feel that Fleetwood are an ideal role model having climbed from non-league to League One with an incredible six promotions in 13 years.
Lokomotiv’s Partnerships manager Alisher Polatov told the club’s website, “We are keen to develop our club to the highest level both on and off the pitch.
“The UK has a long and admirable history in football and we were determined to find a UK partner to work with.
“We understand that the standards in the UK are much higher and therefore it was important that we work with a club at a realistic level.
“The achievements of Fleetwood in such a short time have been amazing and their plans for the future are very exciting.
“We are delighted therefore that Fleetwood has agreed to become our partners and we look forward to working together for mutual benefit and to building long term friendships between Tashkent and Fleetwood.”
The partnership will see the development of a number of commercial opportunities for the Cod Army, including the introduction of new potential sponsors and a commercial pre-season tour in 2016.
Uzbekistan has invested extensively in its football facilities and the Premier League runners up are assisting Fleetwood in it’s long term development, working on their recent new training ground development and producing an international academy which would include welcoming young players from Uzbekistan and Central Asia.
There will also be opportunities for Fleetwood’s development group and youth players to travel to Uzbekistan for friendly matches during the forthcoming season.
The League One side’s CEO Steve Curwood added, “We felt growing the Club beyond UK shores was essential to reach out to a wider audience, both in the way of general recognition but also to attract new sponsors and partnership opportunities, and generally growing the awareness of Fleetwood Town and our story so far.
“This exciting opportunity, with another proactive and relatively new club that Lokomotiv are, will allow work with a region, as yet unexplored by European clubs. It will enable us to share experiences, ideas, and set up future meaningful arrangements.
“As a very progressive Club it also provides an opportunity to continue to learn about new ways of doing things which is important if we are to continue to progress as a football club.’’
Fleetwood finish the Sky Bet League One season with a trip to Port Vale on Sunday.