Atletico Madrid deal over, will still be called ATK in ISL 2017: Sanjiv Goenka | football | Hindustan Times
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Atletico Madrid deal over, will still be called ATK in ISL 2017: Sanjiv Goenka

Atletico Madrid, who had a 25 percent stake in the ownership of the Indian Super League club, will not partner the club this season and the team’s principal owner Sanjiv Goenka has said that the name of the team is the name of the team.

football Updated: Jul 22, 2017 19:31 IST
HT Correspondent
Atletico de Kolkata have won the ISL twice in 2014 and 2016 but in this season, they will not have Atletico Madrid’s partnership.
Atletico de Kolkata have won the ISL twice in 2014 and 2016 but in this season, they will not have Atletico Madrid’s partnership.(Vipin Pawar / ISL / SPORTZPICS)

For Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) there is lots in a name. Or an acronym.

So though Atletico Madrid won’t partner anymore, the Kolkata franchise of the Indian Super League (ISL) will continue to be known as ATK, said its principal owner Sanjiv Goenka.

And would ATK continue to stand for what is was over the past three years? “The name of the team is the name of the team and it is ATK. It can also stand for Aamar, Tomar Kolkata,” said Goenka. Translated from Bengali, that would mean the team for every Kolkatan.

Speaking after the media conference where Goenka said this, a team official said it is premature to say that henceforth ATK would stand for something apart from what was coined three years ago after the La Liga giants came on board with a 25% stake in the ownership.

“ATM (Atletico de Madrid) will sell their stake to me,” said Goenka. “ATM and ATK have come to an agreement that they will not be part of ATK going forward. We’ve had a good relationship and we continue to be friends.”

Goenka pointed out that the Madrid club hadn’t spent “a penny” since joining in 2014. Atletico Madrid provided technical support including but not restricted to the coaching staff. They facilitated the pre-seasons in Madrid and were a major help in recruiting foreign players. The consistency of their imports played a major role in ATK winning two championships and being the semi-finalists in another.

“We have competent technical team. Teddy (Sheringham) and Ashley (Westwood) bring a lot of experience, success and vision. And I hope we can fulfil expectation fans have from us. We have not let our fans down in the last three years,” said Goenka.

‘Babes compared to Bagan, EB’

Goenka said even though the I-League and the ISL would be held simultaneously this season, there is no competition between ATK and Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in terms of garnering support. “Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are great clubs with great legacies. We’ve grown up watching them, idolising them. We are not competing with anyone. They are ‘dadas’, we are ‘bachchas’,” he said.