Mohun Bagan and ATK merged together to form a single football team after the former sold 805 of its share to the ISL franchise’s parent company RPSG Group on Thursday.
The merged entity will likely be called ATK-Mohun Bagan and they will play the next season of the Indian Super League, meaning the ongoing I-League will be Mohun Bagan’s last. The team will take part in all the other important competitions of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and will play the Calcutta Football League as well.
However, given the huge fan base of Mohun Bagan, it is important to understand how the fans are reacting to the news. And going by the social media trends, not a large section of the Mariners fans seems to be happy about their favourite club joining ATK.
It’s very disappointing…
We want the name “Mohunbagan” to in the same..and don’t want The ATK name with my MOHUNBAGAN..
it will be a shame for a century old club..
Shame on our officials..
— Milan Ghosh 🇮🇳 (@milan__ghosh) January 16, 2020
Tutu Bose, @bosesrinjoy and Debashis Dutta – I do not understand how you’d be able to sleep tonight after murdering the identity of millions.
— Rediscovery of India (@ShashankaSan) January 16, 2020
You guys have ruined our emotions.
— Indrava Banerjee (@IndravaBanerjee) January 16, 2020
Nam r sathe ATK jure gele r joy mohunbagan Bolte Valo lagbe??
Kono sponsor r nam bosa r ATK r nam bosa ak hote parena..
— Milan Ghosh 🇮🇳 (@milan__ghosh) January 16, 2020
NO TO “ATK” MOHUN BAGAN. We are and always will be MOHUN BAGAN!
— Soumyajit Banerjee (@tijaymous) January 17, 2020
Meanwhile, BCCI president and ATK co-owner Sourav Ganguly on Thursday praised the decision of the ISL franchise and Kolkata football giants Mohun Bagan to merge together saying ” they will be the torchbearers for Indian football.”
Taking to his official Twitter handle, “A momentus partnership for Bengal football. I have no doubt ATK and Mohun Bagan will be torchbearers of moving Indian football forward together. @IndSuperLeague.”
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) January 16, 2020
Fans posted angry comments under Ganguly’s tweet as well, opposing Mohun Bagan’s decision.
These things aren’t expected from icons like you mr. @SGanguly99
— Arindam Hazra (@Arindam__hazra) January 16, 2020
Dada we are not gonna support @Mohun_Bagan anymore if it is “ATK MOHUNBAGAN”. We don’t have problem if it is “RPSG MOHUNBAGAN” or something else. ATK doesn’t even have a proper meaning. Shsme for Mohunbagan supporters.
— 📌 M R I T T I K (@mrittik_indian) January 16, 2020
U support ur brotherhood at the expense of common Bengalis.
Mero Bagan will do fine I am sure but ghoti Bengalis will be further ruined. God sees all! #Karma
— Koushik Sarkar (@skoushik351) January 17, 2020
With due respect to you dada,Mr.Goenka is targeting the MB fan base that we can understand. To maintain so he needs to respect the logo & the bicolors of the club always.Else that will surely endanger his profit that we can say! MB fans can’t be bought with money or anything else
— Sagnik Goswami (@SagnikDPrince) January 16, 2020
However, there were some football fans who supported the merger, arguing that a club of Mohun Bagan’s size need financial backing. The Green and Maroon brigade have had sponsors earlier as well and the people supporting the decision are looking at ATK as merely a sponsor or an investor.
— Saroop Chattopadhyay ~ স্বরূপ চট্টোপাধ্যায় (@KOLLEO) January 16, 2020
The new name is apparently ATK Mohun Bagan. Honestly Mohun Bagan kono rokome dhukchilo, players ra taka pachchilo na…the club was dying. The legacy of MB merges with the professional Infrastructure of ATK. Ami kharap kichu dekhina..atleast club ta benche gelo!!!!
— Akash Mitra (@lifeisbhram) January 16, 2020
We have to agree with the fact and this is the way we should be going ahead. Two things are requested. The logo and the Jersey should not be changed. Name could be ATK Mohun Bagan and we are okii with it.
— Tanmoy Bhattacharya (@tnmyb) January 16, 2020
We stand united as always. We, the fans, firmly believe that this merger will bring about positive changes. Late R. P. Goenka was a member of Mohun Bagan Club. We are confident that his son, the new owner will do justice to the legacy of this legendary Club.
— Paul (@joyzone) January 16, 2020
@ATKFC @Mohun_Bagan @SangbadPratidin @bbcbangla @dw_bengali @abpanandatv Please don’t change the jersey and logo. You have already changed the name. Also, Please communicate clearly that MB remains as it is . Some fans are very unhappy. #DreamBigSupportFearlessly #JoyMohunBagan
— Saurav RayChaudhuri / সৌরভ রায়চৌধুরী (@src_saurav) January 16, 2020
Good move. Only wish.. you do not change the logo and colors and wipe out 130 years of history!
— Rajarsi । রাজর্ষি (@rajarsi) January 17, 2020
Commenting on the unison and the opportunities it presents, Swapan Sadhan Bose, Chairman, Mohun Bagan Football Club (India), said in a joint press release, “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.”