Mohun Bagan are looking forward to a new partnership with Indian Super League (ISL) side ATK, but a few loose ends of the previous regime remain to be addressed. Sukhdev Singh is yet to receive his salary and the player has sought the intervention of the Player Status Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
In 2018, the Mariners fought tooth-and-nail with East Bengal to secure the services of Singh from Minerva Punjab and even shelled out a hefty transfer fee (INR 16 lakhs) to the Chandigarh-based side. But the defender was banned for six months for contract malpractice by the AIFF, after an attempt by East Bengal to sign him. The club also were given a transfer ban as a result.
Though Sukhdev finally ended up moving to Bagan, he also had to pay a fine of INR 50000 each to the federation and Minerva Punjab. Subsequently, he was plagued by a series of injuries that forced him to spend significant time on the sidelines during his tenure at Mohun Bagan. In fact, he made no appearance in I-League during his entire stint at Bagan. He played a few matches in the Durand Cup and Calcutta Football League (CFL).
It was clear that the player was not in the plans of Kibu Vicuna and he continued to be in the fringes. Singh had a two-year contract which was finally annulled in January 2020, after the club failed to pay multiple installments. Both parties tried to settle the matter mutually but no agreement could be reached.
Hence, Singh has now knocked on the doors of the Player Status Committee of the federation voicing his grievance. The committee is set to meet soon, though no date has been fixed yet.
Mohun Bagan will take part in ISL 2020-21 season as 'ATK Mohun Bagan', as Goal had revealed earlier, but they have some unfinished business to settle which must be taken care of by the erstwhile management.
ATK Mohun Bagan Private Limited has already been 'reserved' on the official site of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) which means the name cannot be allocated to any other entity henceforth. The name has been approved and set 'reserved' for concerned parties and they can now move to further formalities.
The new entity was supposed to come into existence on June 1, 2020, but due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and the resulting nationwide lockdown since March 25, the deal got delayed. With the new company already being reserved, an official announcement from both parties is expected soon.
Other than participating in the ISL, the merged entity will also take part in the group stages of AFC Cup 2021 by using Mohun Bagan’s I-League 2019-20 champions’ slot.