As a result of the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, the owners of Indian Super League club ATK FC, announcing the takeover of Mohun Bagan football club, the iconic club bid adieu to the Calcutta Football League. The merger of the clubs will be now called ATK Mohun Bagan which will play in the Indian Super League. However, the merger has led to some broken hearts as the merger will deprive the city of Kolkata of the fiery rivalry between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
An age-old rivalry which lasted for almost 100 years, the Kolkata Derby or locally known as "Boro Match" between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, attracted huge crowds and was loved by all football fans around. The impact was such that it has been considered as one of the biggest rivalries in Asia. The players of each team have been revered by fans in the city and have always given fans moments to cherish. However, the news of the merger left several netizens in utter despair, here are a few of the reactions:
Good luck and best wishes for the new Football Powerhouse ATK Mohun bagan. Though we at EB shall miss our traditional rivalry with the 120 years old MB. One of the last remaining Bengali romance, caves in with changing times.But that's life films. Miss you My Friend. Adieu.... https://t.co/2fsf7DF7tk— prabir ghosh (@prabirghosh6) January 16, 2020
Man, I’m so glad I was able to witness the #KolkataDerby in 2014. If you’re an Indian sports fan and you were never able to experience the atmosphere in that stadium on a derby day then you’ve missed out, big time.— Sachin Madaan (@sachin_madaan) January 16, 2020
I dont know if its good or bad but i only hope that the kolkata derby will remain the same as it was in the past! #ATKMohunBaganMerger— Adarsh Kothia (@AdarshKothia) January 16, 2020
RIP 'Kolkata derby' 😌— Dipankar Barai (@dipu_says) January 16, 2020
The conglomerate will be the majority owner with 80% of the share, whereas the remaining 20% will be owned by Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited. The deal will come into effect from June 1, 2020, and the team will compete in the 2020-21 Indian Super League season, among other competitions.
Swapan Bose, Chairman of MBFC 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. 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."