Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champion Atletico de Kolkata has been renamed before the forthcoming season as Spanish giant Atletico Madrid terminated their association with the Kolkata side. The Kolkata franchise owner Sanjiv Goenka renamed the team as Amar Tomar Kolkata (Yours and Mine Kolkata). The team was officially named as Atletico de Kolkata as a token of respect for helping the Kolkata with expertise but they didn’t “invested a penny”. Now the franchise is not interested in expanding the name.
“The name of the team is the name of the team. We are ATK. The full form is Atletico de Kolkata but it’s also ‘Amar Tomar Kolkata’ (which means yours and mine Kolkata),” Goenka said on the eve of the Indian Players’ Draft that will be held in Mumbai.
Interestingly, ATK will sport the same red and white straps jersey, the Atletico Madrid’s colours, also unveiled at the team’s first media interaction ahead of season four, and on the eve of the Indian Players’ Draft.
“Atletico de Madrid and ATK have come to an agreement that they will not be part of ATK going forward. I don’t know why there’s still a speculation. We have had a good relationship and we continue to be friends,” Goenka said.
On the investment front, Goenka has 25 per cent stake at ATK while rest of the stakes are held by Utsav Parekh, Harsh Neotia, and former India captain Sourav Ganguly.
“Let me be very up front. Atletico de Madrid have not invested a penny till date. It was anyways funded by us not them. There are two aspects — one is financial and the other is technical. As far as finances are concerned, Atletico de Madrid have not invested a penny with ATK. They had 25 per cent which they would sell to us. To me,” Goenka specified as team’s principal owner now.
He was also asked whether the challenge would be bigger with ISL becoming a 10-team league with the addition of Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC, Goenka said they are up for the challenge.
ATK always had their pre-season camp in Spain but this time it’s likely that it would be held in England. Meanwhile, he rejected the tug war with Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
“They are ‘Dadas’ (big brother), we are ‘Bachchas’ (baby). Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are great clubs with great legacies. We have grown up watching, idolising them,” Goenka said.
Mohun Bagan and East Bengal failed to come up with the demands of ISL, hence they decided to stick with I-League, a league which is fighting with ISL for the tag of the national league.