ATK owners, the RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) Group, have acquired a majority stake in Mohun Bagan Football club, meaning that the long-awaited merger of the two clubs has been made official.
The deal will officially come into existence from June 2020, and the club will compete in the Indian Super League from the 2020-21 season. The RPSG group hold 80% stakes, while Mohun Bagan will own the rest of the 20% shares.
As far as the name is concerned, the newly formed entity will have names of ATK and Mohun Bagan, though the official name is yet to be announced.
Welcoming Mohun Bagan into the group Dr. Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, 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.”
Commenting on the unison and opportunities it presents Swapan Sadhan Bose, chairman, Mohun Bagan said: “As much as we want the romance of the Maroon and Green jersey and its 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.
“In this context I am very thankful to one of India’s most well-known industrialists and our Kolkata’s very own Dr. Sanjiv Goenka for his investment through RPSG. Their vision on Indian football aligns with our philosophy and our combined forces will surely take the club to a bigger and greater heights."
He added: “I can assure millions and millions of Bagan supporters spread across the globe, that the poetry will continue. Now that the prose is ready to lend a helping hand.”
The merger has actually been in the pipeline for a few months, wherein the two clubs were in talks even before the current Indian Super League season began. Even Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), the marketing partners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), were keen on adding either Mohun Bagan or East Bengal in the ISL, but the club were initially reluctant to the idea.
As far as ATK are concerned, they were in talks with both the clubs, but East Bengal’s sponsorship with Quess pulled them back from any rebranding, meaning that they were left with Mohun Bagan.
Meanwhile, a coalition means Mohun Bagan will continue to get discounted tickets for all home matches.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @MohunNews