Atletico de Kolkata owners in talks with IMG over player signings

The Indian co-owners of the franchise want to include a few Atletico Madrid players in their roster if permissible..
The Kolkata franchise of the much anticipated Indian Super League (ISL) became the first team to be officially launched in an event in the home city on Wednesday.

The outfit was christened 'Atletico de Kolkata' with the officials from Atletico Madrid also being present at the venue.

However, the owners of the franchise looked confused when asked about a number of technical issues associated with the team.

"Our desire is that the main coach will be someone who has worked with Atletico. Once Atletico approves someone,  we will then send it over to ISL for approval," Harshavardhan Neotia, one of the co-owners of the team said when asked about appointment of their coaching staff.

He also informed that they are looking for an assistant coach who would have knowledge about the Indian conditions.

"The assistant coach will be someone who knows the conditions here. We have met a few people for that in the last few days."

However, he seemed to be in dark when asked about how the players will be recruited.

"We are still in negotiations with IMG. Since we had signed a primary deal with them, we will abide by the rules they have set. However, I still don't know whether they will set up a pool of players or we can choose for ourselves. The same goes with the coaches. We had a meeting at the end of April, and will have another at the end of May," he told the media.

When asked about the practice venues of the side, he said that nothing has been finalized yet.

"They feel that the foundation is appropriate to build on. To start with, we should not have any difficulty to host any quality match in the current infrastructure available. They have seen both the Salt Lake and Barasat stadiums, but we have not taken any decision yet," he concluded.
Sourav Ganguly, another co-owner of the team stressed on how the franchise looks forward to working for the development of the game in Kolkata.

"We have all grown up from a young age kicking a football. I believe that this is the beginning of something special, something different that will bring a lot more variety to the city, also to the country. With Atletico coming in we can get the talent to match the passion that we always had," he opined.

The former Cricket captain of the country also stressed that the ISL will not try to compete with the exisiting cricket IPL (Indian Premier League), but will try to co-exist.

"We don’t want to compete with IPL. We just want to play. We want to bring football to Calcutta. I am not someone who believes that two successful people can't live on the same platform. We want cricket to be as popular as it is. I am sure that football will become as popular as cricket, some day. Hopefully we can work together to improve the quality of football here. The standard of football has to be very high and then popularity will follow," he told.