Sanjiv Goenka recounts his special relationship with Mohun Bagan
RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) Chairman Sanjiv Goenka, in an interview with eminent sports journalist Boria Majumdar, revealed his personal connection with the Mohun Bagan club and illustrated how the ATK- Mohun Bagan deal came about.
To recall, RPSG, on Thursday, announced that it will acquire majority shareholding in Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited. The move will see ATK FC, the two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL)-winning club owned and run by the group, and Mohun Bagan, the Kolkata-based giants with over 130 years of tradition and legacy, coming together into a new merged identity, which will compete in the rapidly growing professional Indian football landscape. According to the deal, the RPSG Group will become 80 % majority shareholder alongside Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited owning the remaining 20 % shares.
Asked what the merged identity will be called once it comes into effect, Dr Goenka revealed, "It will be called ATK-Mohun Bagan."
Providing a background of the deal and illustrating the significance of the move, mainly from a personal front, Dr Goenka noted, "Dialogues have been on for a long while. Mohun Bagan is not just a club, it’s a legacy, an emotion. I have grown up with Mohun Bagan as a kid. My father practised with Mohun Bagan actively, so did my grandfather. So, for me, it’s a three-generation relationship with Mohun Bagan. Eventually, the fact that the club was not at the pink of its health weighed in favour of taking this decision."
With the amalgamation set to come into effect, the obvious question among fans will be the jersey colours. The recognisable red and white stripes of ATK or the iconic Green and Maroon of Mohun Bagan - which will form the base colours for ATK Mohun Bagan's stripes? Addressing the same, Dr. Goenka stated, "These are decisions not to be taken by the shareholders but the board. There is no space for ego or vanity. But there is space for sentiment and legacy."
Further laying out his grand ambitions for ATK Mohun Bagan, Dr Goenka said, "We need to see if we can prepare blueprints where ATK Mohun Bagan can actually take strides into the international arena."