Praful Patel: Legacy with corporate backing can create magic

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel hailed the imminent amalgamation between two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions ATK FC and Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan as a positive step forward in Indian football and wished the ‘merged entity’ success in its venture.

To recall, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG), which owns and runs Hero ISL club ATK FC, recently announced it will acquire majority shareholding in Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited. The move will see the two football clubs coming together into a new merged identity to compete in the rapidly growing professional Indian football landscape.

The new football club will have brand names of ATK and Mohun Bagan. RPSG Group will become 80 % majority shareholder alongside Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited owning the remaining 20 % shares.

According to the joint-statement issued by RPSG and Mohun Bagan, the merged club, which is set to come into existence from June 1, 2020, will compete in Hero ISL 2020-21, along with other important competitions in the AIFF calendar.

Lauding the move, AIFF president Praful Patel, in a statement, said, "I congratulate the fans of legendary Mohun Bagan club and Hero ISL club ATK on the merger. I am sure officials of both clubs have kept the best interests of fans and the larger interest of Indian football in mind while arriving at a well thought out decision."

"Personally, I feel that when tradition and legacy is backed by corporate backing, magic can be created. I wish the new merged entity all the very best in the future," he further added.

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