New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) ATK Mohun Bagan principal owner Sanjiv Goenka said that there was “never any debate” in his mind about retaining Bagan’s iconic green and maroon colours. The board of the new club, formed after the merger of three-time Indian Super League champions ATK and Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan, announced the club’s colours and logo, which will have 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,” said Goenka at the launch of the club.
He said that he had made up his mind of retaining Bagan’s colours after he went to the Salt Lake Stadium to watch a Kolkata derby match against the club’s traditional arch rivals 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,” said Goenka.
Goenka also said that the away jersey could include ATK’s original colours as well. “The away jersey will be white and red with green and maroon stripes on it. That is not yet unveiled nor is absolutely finalized. We had 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.”
When asked if ATK-Mohun Bagan will still play in the Calcutta Football League or play exclusively in the ISL, Goenka said, “What is very clear is that we cannot play in the ISL and the I-League both. 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.”