Premier League clubs are looking to explore the Pakistani market by ‘twinning’ with teams from the country’s new franchise competition.
The Pakistan Football League (PFL) is launching next spring with sides from the cities of Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Islamabad, Peshawar and Multan.
Sportsmail understands those six teams will each form partnerships with an English club and could even adopt the same colours and nicknames as their Premier League counterparts.
The six Premier League clubs involved are still to be confirmed but it is understood advanced talks are taking place with at least one of the ‘Big Six’, as well as teams from areas with a high Asian population.
It will be the first time a group of English clubs have been linked to another league in this way. Michael Owen will be announced as the PFL’s ambassador and a launch at a London stadium has been penciled in for next month.
England legend Owen, who has signed a three-year ambassadorial role, said: ‘Pakistan’s football potential is huge and I am excited about identifying untapped talent in a nation of 220million.
‘I am looking to cross-promote and develop football between UK and Pakistan through the first ever franchise model league.’
The PFL will be run by Global Soccer Ventures, whose chief executive Zabe Khan previously launched the country’s first professional league, the Pakistan Premier League.
Khan said: ‘I am pleased to see Michael play a pivotal role in creating a new era of football in Pakistan. This is a striking partnership to help Pakistan move the goal posts to international development of football.’