The chairman of the RPSG Group opened up after the historic development in Indian football.
In one of the biggest moves in Indian football in recent years, the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, owners of Indian Super League franchise, ATK, announced a merger with one of the oldest clubs in India and indeed the world, Mohun Bagan.
However, the move has been met with some opposition from the Mohun Bagan fans who take tremendous pride in their club and what it stands for. Nevertheless, the merger of the two clubs will be carried out and the resulting entity will take part in the next edition of the Indian Super League.
The Chairman of the RPSG Group, Sanjiv Goenka opened up about the merger and what it meant to him personally as well as to the clubs themselves.
“It (the new entity) will be called ATK Mohun Bagan,” said Goenka who spoke about how the move to merge the two clubs has come about.
“Discussions and dialogue have been on for a while, a long while. Mohun Bagan is not just a club, it’s a legacy, it’s an emotion.”
“I’ve grown up with Mohun Bagan as a kid. My father practiced Mohun Bagan actively, so did my grandfather. So, for me, it’s a three-generation relationship with the club. There was an emotion and I think the fact that the club was not in the most pink of health weighed in favour of taking this decision.”
Sanjiv Goenka also confirmed that every stakeholder in ATK would retain their stake in the new entity.
When questioned about what colours the team would wear in the new campaign, Goenka insisted that ego would not play a part in any decisions that the board would make going forward.
“These are things that the board should decide. There is no space for egos, there is no space for vanity. But, there is space for sentiment, there is space for legacy.”
Sanjiv Goenka went on to reassure fans that the newly-formed ATK Mohun Bagan would work towards playing in international tournaments.
“No reason not to. Let me also say, there are few names that are as strong in football as Mohun Bagan is. Can we actually prepare a blueprint that ATK Mohun Bagan over a period of time, take steps into the international leagues?”
Sanjiv Goenka confirmed that the club would feature in the next edition of the Indian Super League. The move will take a little getting used to for fans of both clubs. But, time will tell what impact it will have on the future of the game in the country.