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ISL 2017: Atletico Madrid slam ATK for restricting development of club's image

Sumedh Pande
15.13K   //    31 Jul 2017, 12:58 IST

ATK are two-time ISL winners

What's the story? 

Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil has finally spilt the beans over the exact reason as to why the Colchoneros decided to terminate their partnership with Atletico De Kolkata. After three successful years in the Indian Super League, Atletico Madrid called it quits which made the Kolkata based club to change its name a few days back. Talking to the club's official website, Gil revealed that not having a majority stake in the team hampered their expansion plans which led to the club calling it a day in the ISL. 

The CEO said, "Since the majority holder of Atlético Kolkata does not allow the development of the image of Atlético de Madrid through our Academy in India, the club has decided to put an immediate stop to the franchise in India." But Gil has wished to be connected with the Indian fans and is hoping to be back in the country soon. 

In case you didn't know...

Atletico Madrid had a 25% share in the ATK side whereas the remaining shares were owned by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt Ltd. The firm consisted of many known personalities such as Sourav Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjeev Goenka and Utsav Parekh. Meanwhile, after Atletico Madrid's termination, the Kolkata based side will now be known as Amar Tomar Kolkata. 

The heart of the matter 

The Colchoneros had a project in place when they arrived in India to invest in an ISL side. But not having complete majority stopped them from using their ideas to develop the image and brand of the Atletico Madrid. Atletico had hoped to start an academy in Kolkata in order to train the youngsters and give them a platform to make the cut in the first team which in turn would have expanded the club's reach in India. But due to disagreements with the majority shareholders over their expansion plans, Atletico Madrid decided to end their partnership with the Kolkata side. 

What's next? 

Atletico Madrid have now shifted their focus to Mexico where they have bought 60% stake in the second division side, San Luis De Potosi. The club has decided to make the Mexican side their long term project and are expected to start their academy soon. ATK, meanwhile, have distanced themselves from any speculation linking them with a new foreign club ownership.

Author's take 

Atletico Madrid had a brilliant plan for the Kolkata side which would have ultimately garnered positive results for Indian football. But sadly, a top European club has left the ISL which will be a huge loss for the ATK side and more importantly for the image of the league.

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Sumedh Pande
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