Developments at Mohun Bagan indicates an end to 130 year old legacy?

ATK Mohun Bagan

The biggest question that lies in every people’s mind those who are attached to Indian football– whether it is critics or the supporters, journalists, supporters that-

“What will be the face of the newly formed entity which brought together the 130-year-old club Mohun Bagan AC led by President Swapan Sadhan Bose, with the most successful team in Indian Super League ATK FC led by the principal owner Sanjiv Goenka, Harsh Neotia, Utsav Parekh and the “Prince of Kolkata” Sourav Ganguly.

According to the sources the RPSG group is estimated to invest Rs.60 crore per year as the Kolkata Giants Mohun Bagan is well set to be rechristened from the next season.

Millions of heartbeats stood still for a moment in thinking that – are they ever going to flaunt the sailing boat logo with the green and maroon jersey? And most importantly are they going to have an unchanged club name?

Developments at Mohun Bagan indicates an end to 130 year old legacy? AR22 A0032
ATK fans during match 88 of the Indian Super League ( ISL ) between Bengaluru FC and ATK FC held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, India on the 22nd February 2020. Photo by: Arjun Singh / SPORTZPICS for ISL

Never in their worst nightmare, Mohun Bagan fans would have imagined that their club will merge with a six-year-old establishment. This is perhaps the first time that a legacy club has compromised its aura with an outfit that has a relatively insignificant fan base but has fairly deep pockets. Both the supporters of the club have nearly forgotten about the new entity amongst the tension of their team’s current performance in both the I-League and the Indian Super League. ATK beat Chennaiyin FC at Goa by three to one in the final of ISL 6 on March 14. Four days earlier, Mohun Bagan defeated Aizawl FC by one goal to reach the tally of an unassailable 39 points with four rounds to spare in the I-League. With over twenty games remaining, the I-League was called off because of the pandemic Covid-19 and Mohun Bagan were adjudged champions on their last season of I-League.

“Mohun Bagan can merge with ATK and will have no problem with that. But the name and the logo of the club should remain the same on the jersey. It’s a demand as a fan,” said an unnamed Mohun Bagan supporter. “It is clearly mentioned (in the MoU) that we are a supporter-based club… It’s clearly understood between us and mentioned that the club logo and colors will be preserved and the essence won’t be disturbed. It’s very clear,” Srinjoy Bose told PTI, even as a section of fans criticized the merger.

Three months have passed by. Both the Indian league titles have entered in both of their club offices. However, amongst this pandemic Covid-19 situation, the new season is assumed to start late in November and the Board of Directors of the new entity is yet to be announced their new name, new logo, new jersey. According to some trusted sources, the news that has come which might give Mohun Bagan fans a sigh of relief is, that their legendary green and maroon jersey will remain the same in the upcoming season!

According to the statements from few officials there’s a general disparity in the opinion of bringing red and white color in the jersey as huge fan outbreak might result due to that.

However, the logo might well be redesigned by one of the famous digital marketing company which will be a mix of both the teams’ logo. It remains to see how the legacy fans react to the new logo as rumours are rife that any alterations to the sailing boat logo might trigger adverse action from various sections of “Mariners”.

The name might also be mostly modified as ATK-Mohun Bagan as RPSG been the main investor of the club, However, like it was done many a times prior, when UB group decided to invest in both the Kolkata club, the liquor manufacturing company earned the rights to have their brand’s name in front of their club name, the likes of McDowell’s Mohun Bagan and Kingfisher East Bengal.

So, the question still remains that, are Mohun Bagan fans ready to digest this upcoming developments, as RPSG owner has already announced Antonio Lopez Habas as the coach for the next season while the I-League winning coach Kibu Vicuna have already taken his support staff along with him to Kerala Blasters. It’s perceived, many other I-League winning players might be following his footsteps. It remains to see how the developments unfold at the 130 year old club, as it’s huge supporter base awaits, holding their breath!

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