MB loyalists look forward to life in the ISL lane
Thursday - January 16, 2020 7:09 pm , Category : SPORTS
Kolkata, Jan 16 (IANS) Mohun Bagan fans are delighted at the club's merger with two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK, saying it would only raise the standards of one of the oldest outfits in Indian football and add to ATK's fanbase as well.The RPSG Group, which owns and runs Kolkata-based ISL franchise ATK, on Thursday announced they will acquire majority shareholding in Mohun Bagan.The acquired football club will have brand names of ATK and Mohun Bagan. The RPSG Group will become 80 per cent majority shareholder while Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited will own the remaining 20 per cent stake. The merged club will come into existence from June 1, 2020 and will compete in the Indian Super League ISL 2020-21, along with other important competitions in the All India Football Federation (AIFF) calendar."We are delighted at the development. ISL is the top league in the country right now and this is a chance for our club to compete at the highest level," a Mohun Bagan fan said.Last year, ISL was rubber stamped as the top league in the country by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) with the winners of the league -- the team that tops the table -- qualifying for a play-off spot in the AFC Champions League."We want to see Mohun Bagan play the Champions League. We have won the I-League not too long ago and are doing well this time too. This merger gives us a chance to represent in Asia," another supporter said.ATK are in the race for top honours in the ISL, while Mohun Bagan are also in the running for what would be their fifth national title in the I-League.Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia opined that ATK should keep the 130-year-old club's jersey and logo to reap the rewards of their legacy."I agree with that. Let's see. Mohun Bagan is a massive club and their legacy must be respected. I am sure ATK, with their fanbase as well, will want to see Mohun Bagan with them as a team," an octogenarian Mohun Bagan loyalist added.