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I-League   /   ISL   /   Atletico De Kolkata   /   East Bengal FC   /   Mohun Bagan   /  

ATK owner suddenly softens up on EB & MB: implies support for merger, less foreigners & players' draft in ISL

THE OWNER OF ISL FRANCHISE Atletico de Kolkata, Sanjeev Goenka, has suddenly softened his stance on the I-League clubs on the city.

With the re-structuring of leagues coming around, speculation has been high that the 8 ISL franchises along with 3 big I-League clubs East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC will form a new top division league which will adopt the ISL brand name.

The problem with this was the "one-city-one-team" policy that ISL employs, which allowed ATK to continuously make statements saying the franchise will now allow any other team to play out of Kolkata in the ISL.

But speaking to Bengali newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika, Goenka has suddenly gone soft on that issue. He said,

"East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are clubs with long history with hundreds and thousands of fans. When I was a child I used to go to their games with my father. I have no problem with them."

Although he has not directly said he wants the century old clubs from the city to enter ISL, he said,

"I want more teams in ISL. The players' wages should also go down. Especially with foreign players; we are spending too much on them."

This implies the franchise owner who staunchly spoke against the merger in the past is now more open to it. He also seems to support a reduction in the number of foreign players in ISL squads and the return of the infamous players' draft system.

Here's a full breakdown of Goenka's comments and detailed explanations on what they mean in the re-structuring process, presented along with exclusive information on the ISL franchise contracts in the latest episode of our daily show TFG Indian Football Podcast...


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