This morning, a major news broke out after Mr. Swapan Bose, Director of Mohun Bagan Football Club Pvt. Ltd. announced the acquisition of 80% of the company by RPSG Group. The full statement is as follows:
So what does this mean for the 130 year old institution? Let us try to deduce them. For starters, ATK (previously known as Atletico de Kolkata) is not a company. It is a brand which is owned completely by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. is owned by Mr. Sanjiv Goenka, Mr. Utsav Parekh, Mr. Harshvardhan Neotia and Mr. Sourav Ganguly, where Mr. Goenka is the majority stake holder.
From what I understand, it is not ATK that has merged with Mohun Bagan, but a straight forward acquisition of Mohun Bagan Football Club Pvt. Ltd. by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. So what happens to ATK now? What happens to Red and White stripes? The literal answer is it is unlikely to exist anymore. The acquisition of MBFC Pvt. Ltd. by KGS Pvt. Ltd. makes absolute sense for both the entities as the former despite getting on-field success is struggling financially and the later failing to generate a concrete fanbase for revenue across the city.
Also, it is not ATK that has the right to play on the hallowed turf of Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata. It is rather the fact that Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. held the franchisee rights for the city of Kolkata. For people who are confused, it would be advisable to read the American model of professional sports upon which ISL is based on.
The next major question: what happens to the name, colours, and the logo of the club. I personally don’t think Mr. Goenka will change the name or logo or colours of the club as a whole to start another economic disaster for himself. It is however likely that Mohun Bagan AC will be known as RPSG Mohun Bagan AC in the future. In terms of next year’s slot in AFC Champions League given ATK wins the ISL, it is unlikely they will take part given the brand is unlikely to exist.
I also personally hope that Mohun Bagan AC does not list ATK’s previous success in the ISL in their trophy cabinets and start afresh. We do not want another case of Delhi Dynamos and Odisha FC where there is a bad blood among the fans. Personally speaking, I feel this move will benefit Mohun Bagan AC massively as a club.