Mohun Bagan – ATK merger is a classic example of tradition embracing modernity


The merger of the two clubs is a marriage of legacy and modernism to remain relevant in current circumstances…

For over more than a year there has been a myriad of speculations about ATK joining hands with Mohun Bagan. On Thursday the curtains were finally raised and the deal was made official. 

From a neutral’s perspective, this arrangement should serve both the clubs in their best interests. ATK have the financial muscles to flex whereas Mohun Bagan bring with it a heritage and legacy that no other Indian club can offer. The marriage of the two makes them an enviable force in terms of both sporting and marketing aspects. 

A club like the stature of Mohun Bagan should definitely ply its trade in the top division of India and to do that you must be backed by a sound investor. It was necessary for the century-old club to do away with archaic ways of administration and embrace a professional structure. Without a serious investor, no sporting outfit in today’s world can hope to reach the zenith. 

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Costs are involved to execute even a well-knit sporting project which includes luring the best players to your club, provide them with the best facilities to train and also set up a robust youth academy. And Mohun Bagan have been struggling financially on all fronts. both their ends meet.

Players have often complained that they have not received their salaries on time, the residential academy in Durgapur is in urgent need of renovation and one has to take a walk down memory lane to find out when was the last time Mohun Bagan had made a high profile signing whose name can be uttered in the same breath as that of Roy Krishna or a David Williams. 

Similarly, ATK has seen a sharp decline in popularity after the first three seasons. Especially after Sanjeev Goenka claimed that ATK is the most popular club in Kolkata. 

“Have you ever seen this much frenzy for any other team in Kolkata? We are now much more popular than any other club in Kolkata.

“Why should Kolkata sacrifice? Every city has one team, then why Kolkata. Whom will Kolkata support if there would be more than one team,” indicating that it should be ATK representing Kolkata. 

These comments rubbed the fans of both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the wrong way. 

More to follow…

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