There were two back to back events that irritated a section of Bagan fans of late.
First, the presence of three stars in the practice jersey, that indicates that current ATK-MB merger still represents ATK, the currently non-existing football club that won 3 ISL Cups, and then an advertisement showing Sourav Ganguly, one of the Directors of ATK Mohun Bagan and a Life member of Mohun Bagan AC, beside being himself an ex Mohun Bagan player promoting an ad where ATK and Bagan mergers are indicated.
Both these events spoilt the mood of a large section of Bagan supporters and members, to such an extent, that there was an attempt of damage control by a section of the management.
And that is exactly where it went wrong. Mohun Bagan, the 131 year old legacy , the biggest achiever of Indian Football, one of the pioneers of World Football is much greater than three stars or an advertisement by a sports person. It is an institution by itself.
It is definitely true that the three stars do not represent Mohun Bagan, as Mohun Bagan debuts in ISL in 2020, but then it is also true that the whole three star episode should not derail the focus of the team. Mohun Bagan gets into ISL as iLeague Champion (2019-20) and AFC Qualifier as per AIFF policy. It is also true that the slot Mohun Bagan is using is licensed for Kolkata Games and Sports, an RPSG venture that owned the ATK brand.
It is quite obvious that KGS would like to showcase their achievements. As per FSDL guidelines, KGS owns the three stars and their using the same does not demean Mohun Bagan. However when an official gives a written statement, it indicates either he himself was not convinced with the three stars, or indicates that he is trying to calm down the supporters. In either of the cases, it is in bad taste and the apparent cluelessness of the official puts Bagan supporters into soup. They feel that the club, which is no less than a mother figure to them, is being orphaned by the Management.
The supporters, who were already upset, soon saw an ad where ATK and Bagan jerseys are seen getting mixed to get a jersey that raises eyebrows. Again Bagan management failed to convince their supporters as the same management months back were found indicating presence of green and maroon colours in both home and away matches. This ad did not indicate the same, and again the self-promotion of the Mohun Bagan management is to be questioned.
However , supporters , visibly upset with these two back to back events tagged Sanjiv Goenka while agitating, un-followed ATK MOHUN BAGAN handle , and even went ahead and changed their profile pictures to that of an ex-cricket coach of India, an australian veteran, who people believe is responsible for Ganguly’s removal from Indian cricket captaincy.
With 3 weeks away for the Football team to get into the field for the first time in the season, an utmost unprofessional attitude of the Club management definitely rocks the social media, which ideally should be talking more about the strength and weakness of the current squad.
We expect that both ATK-Mohun Bagan FC and the Club Management to come up and publish a set of of open and transparent ‘FAQ’ to address the concerns raised by the supporters and dispel the air of ambiguity that is currently around and also being fanned by certain sections of the media