Sanjiv Goenka, owner of Indian Super League club ATK Mohun Bagan stated that he had no doubts about retaining the iconic green and maroon jersey of Mohun Bagan after their merger with the ISL champions.
The Board of Directors of ATK Mohun Bagan on Friday unanimously decided to retain the green and maroon jersey which has been synonymous with the 131-year-old legacy of Mohun Bagan. The culture and tradition which has made the Mariners a household name has been preserved. The new club logo features the Mohun Bagan boat with addition of ATK to it.
“To my mind, there was never any debate. But, I think there was a question of the whole ATK team who are equally passionate about red and white, equally passionate about the ATK logo and all the stakeholders there. So, it was a process that we had to undergo and we wanted to build a consensus around this,” Goenka was quoted as saying by an ISL release.
The 59-year-old revealed that he decided to retain Mohun Bagan’s jersey colour after he went to the Salt Lake Stadium to watch a Kolkata derby match against East Bengal.
“When I grew up, Green and Maroon were very much part of my being. A few months ago, I happened to go to the Salt Lake Stadium to watch the East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan Kolkata Derby. And on that day, it was very clear in my mind that the passion that the fans share for green and maroon is the same that I have. And that was the day, at least in my mind that the decision was made. I came and shared it with my team.”
Meanwhile, Goenka revealed that the ATK Mohun Bagan away jersey could include ATK’s red and white colours but nothing has been finalised yet.
“The away jersey will be white and red with green and maroon stripes on it,” he said. “That is not yet unveiled nor is absolutely finalized. We have earlier thought it would be the ATK jersey with the new logo for the away kit. But today, Tumpai (Srinjoy Bose) and Debasish (Dutta) made a very good suggestion that why don’t we introduce green and maroon in the jersey. So we will do that.”
Goenka confirmed that he will not rule out ATK Mohun Bagan from playing the local Calcutta Football League but said the club’s target was to prepare for the AFC Champions League.
ATK Mohun Bagan narrowly missed out on the 2020 AFC Champions League after finishing second in the league stage of the 2019-’20 ISL season behind FC Goa. They will instead compete in the group stages of the 2020 AFC Cup after winning the playoff stages last season.
“What is very clear is that we cannot play in the ISL and the I-League both,” he said. “So we will play in the ISL. But, we should be playing in all other leagues as well. And I do not want to over a period of time confine it to local leagues or national leagues only. I think we have to build ourselves, our competencies, our strengths, and capabilities to an extent where we can participate in international competitions. And my target is the AFC Champions League. We have to prepare for that and at some stage, we have to play in it.”