Atletico de Kolkata is making a buzz in the city, though for not so good of a reason...

Arijit Mukherjee  |  Indian Super League  |  1 Year Ago

The future of Indian Football is still extremely uncertain and murky to say the least. The situation has come to this partly due to the inept handling of things by AIFF and their marketing partner turned guardian angels IMG-R.  The Big Two of Kolkata football have announced open war against the so-called unholy alliance.



Against this intriguing backdrop all of a sudden, Atletico De Kolkata has come into the limelight from being nowhere. As per reliable sources within the club, the honeymoon period between Atletico De Kolkata and Atletico Madrid looks to be on rocky waters and looks to end soon.



The unstable relationship has given fodder to a lot of rumours and speculations. However, One thing is for certain which is the performance cannot be an issue in this case at least as the Sanjiv Goenka-Sourav Ganguly led franchisee has dominated proceedings in the ISL, lifting the Silverware twice in three years. They have been simply all conquering in all the editions and also reached the semi-final in the second edition as well before losing out to Chennaiyin FC.

The ATK-ATM relationship has not been stable from the second year itself with speculations doing the round in the last two years as well of their break-off but they were only rumours. As per the sources in the ATK management this time also it is wild guesses and nothing of that kind is happening. On the contrary as per ATK this year as well they will be in tie-up and look to solidify their three year relationship. ATK also has plans of setting up their own stadium and training facility on the outskirts of the City of Joy and have their own facilities.



Though to be frank it has always been a topsy-turvy relationship to say the least, whatever be the official statements from both parties come out, after the initial euphoria and involvement from the Atletico Madrid management the last two years have shown their interest and enthusiasm reduced in a major way.

The partnership promised a lot when they started the tie-up but nothing much has come out of it as a result. The ATK side which plays in the Kolkata League is always a make-shift team with players hired and signed at the last moment. They do have football schools and academies but it hasn’t impressed much in the football ecosystem in the country.


In all these years while all the other ISL clubs have worked hard on having their infrastructure set up, Atletico has been setting things up only in the last moment—Be it the squad or the facilities.  This gives fodder to the argument tat this is probably the essential reason why Ask hasn't been able to encase on the popularity gained by the other Kolkata clubs in the ISL. Well, fans do expect you to be perpetually alive…



Coming back to the ATK-ATM divorce story, the two institutions are completely different in their thought process as Atletico Madrid is more the People’s club in Madrid and not royalty while Atletico De Kolkata behaves like royalty even though they are in existence for only three years. Raghav Sehgal, a football fanatic from Kolkata says, “They never looked like partners. ATK always looked to be a by-product of ATM.”



It was rumoured the ATM management was not impressed with many of the choices ATK had made in the second and third year in the case of players, personnel and their long-term vision besides not been able to extract enough revenue from India as the ATK management projected. Though that in no way suggests that they will no longer be together as when there is a tie-up there are always difference in opinion and can always be sorted with discussions.



Hope that happens in this case as well but until the ISL starts or both the managements makes it clear there will be speculations coming in thick and fast all around. Waiting further twists and turns in another of the soap opera that India Football has turned itself into in the months to come!!


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