One of the country’s most prestigious football clubs Mohun Bagan is all set to ink a new partnership with ATK, one of the top teams of the Indian Super League (ISL). Media reports suggest that the century-old club is in talks with ATK, another Kolkata based team to merge as one. The common link between the two Kolkata heavyweights is ATK’s principal sponsor CESC which is also an investor in Mohun Bagan.
Neither Mohun Bagan nor ATK has committed to anything now but on account of a close source’s information, there remains a strong possibility of a public announcement anytime this month. The merger is done in Mohun Bagan’s bid to play in the Indian Super League (ISL) which has been recognised as the country’s top league in recent times, whereas the I-league will be second in terms of importance. It should be noted that the I-League has been producing and hosting world-class players with no dearth of young talents and experienced campaigners.
“There is no confirmation as of now but we always have been in talks for future tie-ups. When something concrete develops we will come out with an announcement,” Mohun Bagan senior official Debasish Dutta said.
Utsav Parekh, ATK’s co-owner has also not revealed anything substantial. “Every three months, we have been hearing such speculations. Last we heard East Bengal will joining ATK and now it’s Mohun Bagan. Let’s wait and watch, FSDL is looking into the matter. They will have a final say.”
According to reports, the board of directors will comprise of at least six members, three each from Mohun Bagan and ATK respectively once the formation of the new entity is complete. Further details like the team’s name and the home and away jerseys are almost finalised according to credible sources. The Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) the body running the ISL has also agreed to this deal according to sources, though an official statement is yet to be out.
Earlier, there was speculation of East Bengal joining hands with ATK but this did not materialise due to reasons unknown. The roadmap prepared by AIFF and according to the country’s top football governing body, ISL will be the top tier league and I-League being the No. 2 league of the country.