Twice Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata are on the verge of getting abandoned by their Spanish stakeholders Atletico Madrid after just three seasons of the tournament.
The Madrid club had decided to become one of the entrepreneurs of Atletico de Kolkata to extend their brand in the Asian market. Owned by Kolkata Games and Sports, they were the first team to be announced during the tournament’s launch. Other major investors in the team include former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. Madrid had taken 25% of the capital without disbursement among other things that went with the brand name like prestige, jersey colour and experience to a competition that needed to grow.
According to a report by Marca, a Spanish publication, despite their success in the ISL, the relationship between shareholders has seen a deterioration, leading to discussions to part ways with their franchise.
The report further stated multiple reasons that pointed towards the two teams parting ways. One, the Atletico Madrid website hasn’t posted a single Atletico de Kolkata news item since last December. Second, Ashley Westwood was appointed the new technical director of the Indian team as opposed to the norm of a Spaniard staff – Antonio Lopez in 2014 and 2015, and Jose Francisco Molina in 2016.
Sanjiv Goenka, the majority shareholder of Atletico de Kolkata, suggested that they are more focused on developing their own brand. “For us, India is a very important country and Calcutta a very dear city,” the website quoted him as saying. “But we either need to develop or leave.”