Reactions have been pouring in on JCT’s disbandment from competitive football with former players and opposition clubs, all expressing their disappointment.
Current Salgaocar keeper Karanjit Singh, who spent six years with JCT, spoke to Goal.com and opined that his former club’s disbandment is a big setback for not only Punjab football but Indian football also.
Speaking to Goal.com, he said, “The disbandment of JCT is a huge setback for both Punjab and Indian football. JCT was the face of football in Punjab and also the only representative from northern Indian in the I-League.
“However their contribution goes beyond Punjab and northern India as many of the former and current Indian team stars played there and improved their careers.”
Karanjit, who is now with the Indian senior national team in the ongoing camp in New Delhi, echoed former teammate Jagpreet Singh’s thoughts and said that playing for JCT was a dream for every footballer in Punjab.
“For any young footballer in Punjab, playing for JCT was the ultimate dream. JCT also used to provide the perfect platform for the younger players.
“No matter how talented you are, you need guidance and the right platform to mature as a footballer, JCT used to do that and now there is no such platform for Punjabi and north-based footballers.”
The former JCT skipper reckons that irrespective of relegation, the future of his former club had been in the balance for quite some time as it was difficult to sustain it considering the way the I-League is being run.
“I don’t think relegation was the only reason for the owners to shut down the club as it was difficult to maintain it considering the financial challenges which even Mahindra United faced and eventually got disbanded despite finishing fourth in the league.”
Karanjit also explained why the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana would mostly remain empty in the home matches of JCT in the last few seasons.
“Most of the fans of JCT are based in Hoshiarpur so it becomes very difficult for them to make it to the stadium in Ludhiana and watch the home matches. As a result JCT didn’t get the home support which they should have considering their popularity in Punjab.”
The 25 year old reiterated the contribution of JCT in his career and remained optimistic of their return to competitive action in the very near future.
“I have said it in the past and I am saying it again now, without JCT I wouldn’t have made it this far in my career. Hopefully very soon the I-League will be commercially attractive again for JCT to return to competitive action,” he concluded.