In a turn of events, two-time Indian Super League (ISL) winners ATK, previously known as Atletico de Kolkata, are set to announce their merger with one of the most successful and oldest clubs of India, Mohun Bagan, which plays in the I-League.
According to a report in ESPN, both the clubs have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and are set to announce the news very soon. RAccording to a report in ESPN, both the clubs have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and are set to announce the news very soon.est of the details will only be known once the merger has been made public.
It is also learnt here that the Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) who are the marketing partners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) have been wanting to include either Mohun Bagan or their arch-rivals, East Bengal in the ISL ever since 2017. However, both the clubs had refused to join the ISL because of their franchise fee of INR 15 crore along with their unwillingness to move out of Kolkata, owing to ISL’s one-club-per-city rule. They were also unwilling to give up their rights to the sponsors.
Talking to ESPN, a Mohun Bagan official said, “There have been reports about our merger for more than two years now. Every club looks to consolidate, either through tie-ups with sponsors or with other clubs. We'll announce any change in structure, which has been planned for some time now, as and when it happens."
Mohun Bagan, which was established in 1889 by Bhupendra Nath Bose, was the first Indian club to win IFA shield title. They have won the top-flight four times, the National Football League three times and the I-League once. They have also been 14-times champions of the now-defunct Federation Cup.
At present, Mohun Bagan stands at the top of the table in the ongoing season of I-League, while ATK stands at the third place in ISL, battling for the top position.