Internet Desk: The famous association between Atletico de Madrid and two times’ Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata is most probably coming to an end, as the Spanish club is planning to part ways.
It was on May 7, 2014 when Miguel Angel Gil, Carlos Aguilera and Emilio Gutierrez as Rojiblancos representatives, Atletico presented its franchise in the Indian Super League.
Sponsored by a consortium of entrepreneurs of the country, the Manzanares club joined with the intention of, among other objectives, expanding its brand in the Asian market.
Two titles have been conquered, so the sporting operation has been a success, but the relationship between shareholders has deteriorated by leaps and bounds.
The Spanish entity have confirmed to Spanish daily Marca, that they are thinking of walking away and there were clues anyway.
One, that the club website hasn’t included a single Atletico Kolkata news item since last December 18.
Another, just two days ago, was the official announcement of Ashley Westwood as the new technical director of the Indian team, which, until now, had been staffed by Spaniards; Antonio Lopez in 2014 and 2015, and Jose Francisco Molina, in 2016.
In principle Atletico acquired 25% of the capital without disbursement, giving prestige, colours and experience to a competition that needed to grow.
What is certain today is that Sanjiv Goenka, the majority shareholder of Kolkata, does not value the contribution of the Spaniards enough, suggesting that they only want to develop their own brand.
“For us, India is a very important country and Calcutta a very dear city,” affirmed the club executives.
“But we either need to develop or leave.”