Mohun Bagan: Swapan Sadhan Bose in favour of unified league

Mohun Bagan's General Secretary is hopeful of getting a sponsor on board but remains cautious of the club's approach...

Mohun Bagan General Secretary Swapan Sadhan Bose has clarified his stance on the future of I-League and the possibility of a merger.

With East Bengal looking to bid for the Indian Super League (ISL), it is widely expected that arch-rivals Mohun Bagan will also make a move for the same. However, the club has not brought a sponsor on board yet. East Bengal had roped in Quess Corp as their investor before the start of the season but the Mariners are yet to strike a deal.

A press release by Bose on Monday read, "Indian football is at a critical crossroad. Only time will tell which will be the top league of the country - ISL, I-League or a unified league. I am in favour of a unified league as football must develop from the grassroots. Football should spread uniformly throughout the country. It is a fight. For the good of Indian football, we have to fight this together.

"I will not allow anything that would tarnish the heritage or threaten the existence of our beloved club. Mohun Bagan is a club which is registered under the society act (West Bengal Societies Act). It is a historic step forward. Anyone who wishes to get associated with our club must agree and respect its heritage. Therefore we are not in favour of taking any step hurriedly.

"Many might think that I am saying these because we do not have any sponsorship deal on the table. But that is not right. Sponsors will come if not today, then tomorrow. But will not accept anyone who will threaten the existence of the club.

"This is also a fight and I know that I have the support of all of you. Therefore I am not afraid or dejected. We have stayed together through thick and thin and have overcome a lot of hurdles. We will stick together in this fight as well and victory will be ours. "

Speaking after the club's annual general meeting convened earlier this season, Bose had said, "We have been also asked whether we want to play ISL or not. They have also given us the green signal that we can play from Kolkata. A 10-year agreement (worth) 40 crores per year is needed with the sponsor. Only then we can play ISL.

"If East Bengal plays ISL then we must ensure how Mohun Bagan can also play ISL. We must not fight amongst ourselves rather strive for the betterment of the club."