The much-awaited merger between Indian Super League (ISL) club ATK and I-League giants Mohun Bagan finally took place on Thursday. The announcement took place at the Mohun Bagan club in Kolkata where officials of both clubs were present.
The merger will see RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) group owned ATK hold 80% of the newly formed entity while Mohun Bagan will own the rest of the 20% shares. The newly formed club will be a part of the Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2020-21 season.
The new club will have brand names of both ATK and Mohun Bagan and it is widely expected that the new name will be 'ATK Mohun Bagan Football Club'.
The 130-year-old club finally enters the cash-rich league holding the hands of Sanjiv Goenka-owned ATK in the seventh edition of the league.
Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman of the RPSG Group said: “RPSG Group which has a 200-year-old legacy is humbled and honoured to welcome Mohun Bagan with folded hands and open arms to the RPSG family. RPSG Group is known for acquiring and growing legacies such as the 120-year-old CESC, 150-year-old Spencer’s Retail, and the 100-year-old Saregama. Personally, it’s an emotional reunion for me as my father Late Shri R P Goenka was a member of Mohun Bagan.”
Mr. Swapan Sadhan Bose, Chairman, Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Pvt. Ltd. said: "As much as we want the romance of the Maroon and Green jersey and it’s 130-year-old tradition to continue, there comes a time when romance almost invariably requires a partner named practicality. To usher into the new era of football, you need bigger investments and a corporate force to take it forward. This is undoubtedly a harsh and the bigger truth."
This is a development that has been in the works for quite a few months now. Concrete talks between ATK and Mohun Bagan began before the ongoing season in Mumbai when the I-League club's officials met ATK officials in presence of the ISL representatives.
Though the talks did not amount to much at that particular meeting, the negotiations accelerated in the last couple of months, culminating in what is a huge development in the Indian football scenario.