Mohun Bagan will play in the ISL from next season after it merged with ATK.

One of the most historic clubs of Indian Football, 130-years-old Mohun Bagan FC will now play in the cash-rich top flight of India football from next season. The much-awaited merger between two-times Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK and I-League giants Mohun Bagan finally took place on Thursday.

This merger will see RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) group owned ATK hold 80% of the newly formed club while Mohun Bagan will own the rest of the 20% shares. The newly formed club will come into existence from 1st June 2020 and will play in the Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2020-21 season.

The new club will have the brand names of both previous clubs, ATK and Mohun Bagan. As per widespread rumours, the name of the new club will be ‘ATK Mohun Bagan Football Club’.

Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the 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.”

Swapan Sadhan Bose, Chairman of Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Pvt. Ltd. said: “As much as we want the romance of the Maroon and Green jersey and it’s 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.”

“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.”

This is the biggest merger in the history of Indian football. The two powerhouses from West Bengal – Mohun Bagan and ATK – holds an immense potential to take forward the rich football legacy of the state and hence improve the quality of Indian football.

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