Mohun Bagan AC
Mohun Bagan Athletic Club is an Indian professional sports club based in Kolkata, West Bengal. Founded in 1889, is one of the oldest in India and Asia. The club is most notable for its victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in the 1911 IFA Shield final. This victory made Mohun Bagan the first all-Indian side to win a championship over a British side and was a major moment during India's push for independence. Although Mohun Bagan is a multi-sport club, the primary sport since its foundation has been football.
|Founded||15 August 1889(as Mohun Bagan Sporting Club)|
|Ground||Mohun Bagan Ground|
|President||Swapan Sadhan Bose|
|Honorary Secretary||Srinjoy Bose|
|Departments of Mohun Bagan AC|
Mohun Bagan A.C. (cricket)
Mohun Bagan A.C.
They have won the top-flight football league a record five times – the National Football League three times, and the I-League twice. They are the most successful team of India in the history of the Federation Cup, having won the championship a record 14 times. The club has also won several other trophies, including the Durand Cup (16 times), IFA Shield (22 times), and the Calcutta Football League (30 times). In total, the club has won various minor and major trophies throughout it's glorious history. The club contests the Kolkata Derby with long-time local rivals SC East Bengal with the first derby match played on 8 August 1921. The club also shares a rivalry with another local club, Mohammedan SC.
Since 2020, ATK Mohun Bagan FC succeeded the football operations of Mohun Bagan after Kolkata Games and Sports Private Limited, the company owning ATK FC, merged with Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited, the legal entity overseeing the affairs of the club's football section, by buying 80% stakes of the latter.
Formation and early years (1880s–1900s)
Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, founded 15 August 1889, is an Indian sports club best known for its association football team, one of the oldest football clubs in Asia. Mohun Bagan was established by three famous aristocratic Bengali families of North Kolkata. Bhupendra Nath Bose was the first president of the club. The team won its first trophy in 1904, when they won the Coochbehar Cup. In 1905 Mohun Bagan reached the finals of the Gladstone Cup which was held in Chinsurah where they defeated the reigning IFA Shield champions Dalhousie 6–1.
In 1911, Mohun Bagan created history by becoming the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield after they defeated the British Army East Yorkshire Regiment 2–1 on 29 July. Most Mohun Bagan players played bare feet, while the East Yorkshire Regiment played with proper footballing equipment. This win was considered a landmark victory in the Indian freedom struggle.
Mohun Bagan played their first match in the Calcutta Football League on 15 May 1915 against Calcutta Club. In 1939 Mohun Bagan won their first Calcutta Football League title. Mohun Bagan then had a successful period from 1933 to 1939, where the club won 29 trophies. During that time, out of 23 derbies, they beat East Bengal 12 times (including 1 walkover win), drew 10 matches and lost only once to their arch rival. It was a golden period in the history of the club.
Post-independence years (1940s–1970s)
In 1947, Mohun Bagan became the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield post-independence. In 1954 Mohun Bagan became the first club ever to clinch the double crown of Kolkata — the IFA Shield and Calcutta Football League. In 1977 Mohun Bagan became the first Indian football club ever to win the triple crown (IFA Shield, Durand Cup, and Rovers Cup) in the same year.
In 1977, Mohun Bagan played a friendly match against the American club New York Cosmos which featured the legendary Brazilian footballer, Pelé. The match, which took place at Eden Gardens, had a match attendance of 80,000 and ended in a 2–2 draw.
In the 1978 IFA Shield Final, Mohun Bagan was up against FC Ararat Yerevan of the Soviet Union. The match ended 2–2 and both the clubs were declared winners. Thus, the club became the first Indian team, post-independence, to win the IFA Shield while competing against a non-Asian side in the final.
Mohun Bagan celebrated their 100th anniversary in 1989. A grand torch rally was held for the occasion with the rally starting from Basu Bati in North Kolkata and covered several important places in Mohun Bagan's history before reaching the Mohun Bagan Ground. The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi arrived for the celebrations and during his speech, he referred to Mohun Bagan as "The National Club of India". Fittingly, Mohun Bagan again won the IFA Shield during this anniversary by defeating Tata Football Academy in the final by a solitary goal. Mohun Bagan became the first club to be honoured by a postage stamp from the Indian Government on their centenary year.
In 1996, AIFF formed the first national-level professional league, National Football League (NFL). Although Mohun Bagan didn't do well in the inaugural season, they came back and won the league in the next season. Mohun Bagan won the league once again in 1999-00.
In 1998, United Spirits, a subsidiary of Vijay Mallya owned United Breweries Group, entered into a partnership with Mohun Bagan by buying a 50% stake in the club. They formed a joint-venture entity named United Mohun Bagan Private Limited. The name and crest of the club's football section was thus changed to McDowell's Mohun Bagan. That same year Mohun Bagan achieved the domestic treble by winning the IFA Shield, the Federation Cup and the National Football League for the first time in one season.
In 2007 Mohun Bagan won their first Indian Super Cup title by defeating Dempo 4–0. A year later in 2008, Mohun Bagan players got the opportunity to play against German international, Oliver Kahn in his official testimonial match for Bayern Munich. Along with Kahn, other stars like Ze Roberto and Toni Kroos were also present in the Bayern team. The match was played on 27 May 2008 at the Salt Lake Stadium and finished with Bayern defeating the hosts 3–0.
Mohun Bagan celebrated their quasquicentennial year of existence in 2014. The club organised a huge rally in northern Kolkata chiefly to celebrate the anniversary on 1 June 2015. The celebration was capped off as the club achieved their 1st I-League title after a 1–1 draw with Bengaluru FC in the final game on 31 May 2015. The victory parade saw around 50,000 Mariners lined up along the streets, with prominent ex-Bagan players like P. K. Banerjee, Manas Bhattacharya, Bidesh Bose, Compton Dutta, Shibaji Banerjee and Satyajit Chatterjee involved with the celebrations.
Mohun Bagan became the first Indian club to win a match in AFC Champions League and qualify to the ACL Preliminary 2nd Round when they defeated Singapore based club Tampines Rovers 3–1 on 27 January 2016. Mohun Bagan recorded the biggest margin of victory by an Indian club in an AFC Cup away match when they defeated Hong Kong based club South China by 4–0 on 9 March 2016.
Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Pvt. Ltd. was registered as a separate legal entity on 31 July 2017. The new legal entity created was exclusively for all football activities of the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club.
On 28 September 2018 in the Clash of Legends (a match between the teams of retired former players of the respective clubs), Mohun Bagan Legends hosted the FC Barcelona Legends side at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, with a match attendance of 45,000. The fixture concluded with a heavy defeat for the hosts by a scoreline of 6–0.
On 10 March 2020, Mohun Bagan clinched their second I-League title with a 1–0 win over Aizawl FC at the Kalyani Stadium. They were declared champions on 18 April 2020 with 4 matches remaining, which were eventually cancelled by the AIFF due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mohun Bagan A.C. and ATK FC merged their respective football divisions in January 2020, a move that allowed Mohun Bagan to play in the ISL (which was promoted to the top flight competition in the Indian football hierarchy in 2017–18) and in the 2021 AFC Cup Group Stage (qualification achieved by winning the 2019–20 I-League). On 16 January 2020, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG), bought an 80% share of Mohun Bagan Football Club. It was announced that branding and footballing rights of Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited, would be transferred to the new company and they would field a football team in the ISL with the name ATK Mohun Bagan Football Club.
Kits, colors and crest
The current crest of the club is circular in shape and consists of a sailing country boat painted in green and maroon colors. The boat, perhaps signifies the club's place of establishment; northern Kolkata, on the banks of the Ganges. In fact the city was the capital during the later 19th century and a prime trade center of British India, and the main mode of transportation was through the waterways.
The club crest is used for all sporting activities, other than football division, of the club. However, since gaining professional status at the start of the National Football League era in Indian Football the crest of the football division of the club has changed mutatis mutandis from time to time due to change of stake holders, all the while keeping the Green and Maroon sail boat a constant.
These are the traditionally used home and away jerseys of Mohun Bagan. The designing of the kit has varied and different designs are used every season now but the dominant colors remain the same.
Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
|2020—Present||ATK Mohun Bagan|
Salt Lake Stadium
Prior to the construction and opening of Rungrado May Day Stadium in 1989, it was the largest football stadium in the world. Reportedly, a total of 85,000 bucket seats was installed in the stadium before the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup held in India.
The stadium is situated approximately 10 kilometres to the east of the Kolkata downtown. The roof is made of metal tubes and aluminum sheets. The stadium was inaugurated in January 1984. There are two electronic score boards and control rooms. The lighting is uniformly distributed to facilitate night kick-offs. There are special arrangements for TV broadcasting.
The stadium covers an area of 76.40 acres (309,200 m2). The stadium has a unique synthetic track for athletic meets. It has a main football arena measuring 105m x 70m, electronics scoreboards, elevators, VIP enclosures, peripheral floodlighting arrangement from the roof-top, air-conditioned VIP rest room, conference hall and much more. The stadium has its own water arrangements and standby diesel generation sets.
The Salt Lake Stadium hosts the home games of Mohun Bagan in ISL, and previously hosted its I-League matches. It is also an AFC accredited stadium and thus suitable for hosting Mohun Bagan's matches in continental competitions.
Mohun Bagan Ground
The Mohun Bagan Ground is a football stadium located in the maidan region of central Kolkata, just opposite to the Eden Gardens stadium. The stadium is owned by Mohun Bagan who currently use the stadium as a training ground, although in 2017 the ground had been used for a few of their I-League matches as well. The office and club tent are adjacent to the stadium.
This ground is mainly used for Calcutta Football League matches. The stadium has galleries on three sides and a rampart on the fourth side. The north side, a contemporary gallery of the stadium, having bucket seats installed, is for the members.
In 1977 Mohun Bagan became the first club in Maidan to have floodlights installed in their stadium. The floodlights operated till the mid-1990s, after which they were renovated and inaugurated on 25 February 2016 with an IFA Shield match between Mohun Bagan U19s and DSK-Liverpool Academy.
The Barasat District Sports Stadium, also known as Vidyasagar Krirangan, is a football stadium located in Barasat city, on the outskirts of Kolkata, West Bengal. It is used mostly for Calcutta Football League matches. It is also used for several district-level, state-level and, infrequently, national level tournaments. The stadium currently holds around 22,000 spectators, has 4 floodlight towers and a number of air conditioned meeting and changing rooms. The artificial turf at the stadium has achieved a two-star rating from FIFA.
During the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons, the stadium has hosted the home matches of Mohun Bagan in the I-League as the Salt Lake Stadium was being renovated and reconstructed for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The fans, known as Mariners, have the distinction of the highest attendance in I-League matches. There are several fan clubs dedicated to Mohun Bagan in different parts of India. Mohun Bagan had the highest average attendance with an average home crowd of 17,068 in the 2013–14 season, as per the AIFF reports. In the 2014-15 I-League season, their vocal support in away matches in Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru was arguably unseen in Indian football until then.
In 2015 an all-female supporters' group, called Lady Mariners, was established. The group became India's first all-female football supporter's club.
Around 2016, ultras of Mariners, called Mariners' Base Camp, was formed with its various wings spread all around India, to revolutionize the Indian football fan movement through tifos, chants, slogans and pyrotechnics.
In March 2020, a digital fanbase of Mohun Bagan, named Mariners' Arena, became the first fanbase in West Bengal to take necessary permissions from the club and launch their fan merchandise. They also took active part in the ISL Fan Wall during ATK Mohun Bagan's matches in ISL.
The Economic Times, a leading Indian newspaper, reported that the club had an average attendance of over 35,000 in their home matches, possibly an I-League record. Over 21,000 attended the league decider of the 2014-15 I-League between Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC in Bengaluru, of this ".. over 8,000 were away fans, travelling from as far as Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune to watch the game", noted Sunando Dhar, chief executive officer of the I-League in the same article. Their grand reception when, by some estimates, over 200,000 fans gathered to greet the 2014-15 I-League clinching squad (on their way back to Kolkata from Bengaluru) has been dubbed as "legendary", "unparalleled" and "surreal" by the press as well as football historians.
Mohun Bagan fans have also provided financial help to the club during times of struggles. In the early 2000s, a Mohun Bagan fan mortgaged his house to raise funds for signing Brazilian superstar Jose Ramirez Barreto. In 2013 another fan donated his entire monthly salary to the club.
Crazy and passionate football fans, Pannalal and Chaitali Chatterjee, who travelled abroad to 10 FIFA World Cups to represent India's footballing passion, had once said that, “You can cut open my wrist. You will see Mohun Bagan running in my veins and nothing will ever change that.” 
On 29 July 2020 (Mohun Bagan Day), a group of Marines abroad took an initiative to feature the club on the billboards of NASDAQ at Times Square, in order to celebrate the occasion in a unique way during the times of pandemic when all the fans in India were under a lockdown. This made Mohun Bagan the first ever Indian sports entity to be featured on the NASDAQ billboards at Times Square. The moment was appreciated by FIFA through their Twitter handle.
Celebrity Mohun Bagan fans include Hemendra Kumar Ray, Manna Dey, Jyoti Basu, R. D. Burman, Sourav Ganguly, Amitabh Bachchan, Uttam Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, and many more.
Mohun Bagan's biggest rivalry is with city rivals SC East Bengal and is popularly known as the Kolkata Derby. Mohun Bagan also had an intense rivalry with Mohammedan SC but the importance of this match had fizzled out in past two decades due to the fact that the teams only met once a year in the Calcutta Football League.
Till 19 February 2021, 371 matches have been played between the two teams (329 competitive matches and 42 exhibition games) out of which Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan) has won 121 matches and East Bengal have won 129 times (including all competitive matches and exhibition games) and rest of the matches ended in draws.
The first match between the sides was played on 8 August 1921 in the Coochbehar Cup and the semifinal match ended in a 0–0 draw. Mohun Bagan won the replayed semifinal 3–0. The first ever derby goal was scored in that match by Rabi Ganguly and the other two goals were scored by Poltu Dasgupta and Abhilash Ghosh.
The first CFL match between the sides was played on 28 May 1925 in CFL where East Bengal beat Mohun Bagan 1–0. Mohun Bagan holds the record of scoring the fastest goal in a derby (24 July 1976, a 17-second goal from Md Akbar of Mohun Bagan). They have the record of winning 2 consecutive derbies in 2 consecutive days (7 and 8 August 1935) and had the unique distinction of losing only 1 derby in a span of 7 years (1933 to 1939).
A few notable victories include the Darbhanga Shield match on 5 September 1934, when Bagan won 4–1 (Amiyo Deb scored all the 4 goals, the only time a player scored 4 goals in this derby), and a 5–3 win in an I-League encounter on 25 October 2009 (Chidi Edeh scored 4 goals). They have won several derbies scoring 4 goals against East Bengal. One such instance was in Raja Memorial Shield final played on 6 August 1937 in the common ground of both the clubs (Salt Lake Stadium), where Bagan beat East Bengal 4–0 and Asit Ganguly scored 3 goals in that match.
Ownership and finances
Mohun Bagan AC is registered as a society under Societies Registration Act, 1860 and West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961. Unlike many other top sports clubs in the country which are limited companies, it is not possible to purchase shares in the club, but only membership. The registered members forms the Mohun Bagan Society, which takes part in the general elections for the appointment for various posts. The club is governed by its own "constitution". Amendments and resolutions are passed via annual general meetings.
However, the football department was registered as a private limited company in 1998 after a joint venture with United Breweries Group. Presently, the football entity is merged with ATK and owned by a consortium known as ATK Mohun Bagan Private Limited. RPSG Group founder Sanjiv Goenka is the principal owner of the organization while former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly and businessman Utsav Parekh are co-owners. They own 80% of the shares while Mohun Bagan Football Club also acts a co-owner, owning 20% of the organization.
|1889–1990||Mohun Bagan Sporting Club|
|1990–1998||Mohun Bagan Athletic Club|
|1998–2015||McDowell's Mohun Bagan Private Limited[^]|
|2015–2017||Mohun Bagan Athletic Club|
|2017–2020||Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited|
|DF||Arun 'Bhuti' Sukul|
|DF||Rev. Sudhir Kumar Chatterjee|
|CF||Sirishchandra 'Habul' Sarkar|
|CF||Jitendranath 'Kanu' Roy|
|CF||Shibdas Bhaduri (Captain)|
Top scorers in National League/I-League
|1||Brazil||José Ramirez Barreto||1999–2004, 2006–2012||94|
|2||Nigeria||Odafa Onyeka Okolie||2011–2014||51|
|3||India||Baichung Bhutia||2002–2003, 2006–2009||25|
Top scorers in Calcutta League
|2||India||Sisir Ghosh||1985–1992, 1995–1996||67|
|3||India||Manas Bhattacharya||1977–1980, 1982–1984, 1986–1988||64|
|4||India||Nanda Ray Chowdhury||1935–1943||63|
|5||India||Ashok Chatterjee||1961–1968, 1972||58|
|6||India||Subhash Bhowmick||1970–1972, 1976–1978||58|
|7||Brazil||José Ramirez Barreto||1999–2004, 2006–2012||57|
|12||India||Pungab Kannan||1966–1968, 1971, 1973–1975||51|
Mohun Bagan Day
On 10 July Mohun Bagan had begun their IFA Shield campaign. The tournament continued for the next 19 days with Mohun Bagan declared as the champions. Thus, for the first time a native club defeated the British and the British-Indian teams in a football tournament.
Since 2001, on 29 July each year is celebrated as the Mohun Bagan Day in honour of the club's victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in the 1911 IFA Shield Final.
|10 July 1911 1||Mohun Bagan AC||3–0||St. Xavier's College||Kollata|
||Stadium: Rangers Ground|
|14 July 1911 2||Mohun Bagan AC||2–1||Calcutta Rangers Club||Kolkata|
||Stadium: Customs Ground|
|19 July 1911 Quarter Final||Mohun Bagan AC||1–0||Rifle Brigade||Kolkata|
||Stadium: Dalhousie Ground|
|24 July 1911 Semi Final||Mohun Bagan AC||1–1||Middlesex Regiment||Kolkata|
||Stadium: Dalhousie Ground|
|26 July 1911 Semi Final rematch||Mohun Bagan AC||3–0||Middlesex Regiment||Kolkata|
||Stadium: Dalhousie Ground|
|29 July 1911 Final||Mohun Bagan AC||2–1||East Yorkshire Regiment||Kolkata|
||Stadium: CFC Ground|
Referee: HG Pooler
Mohun Bagan Ratna
Mohun Bagan Ratna is an award presented each year on Mohun Bagan Day to outstanding former players, irrespective of sports played. The first recipient was former captain Sailen Manna.
|2002||Dr. Talimeran Ao (Posthumous)|
|2003||Shibdas Bhaduri (Posthumous)|
|2004||Gostha Paul (Posthumous)|
|2006||Umapati Kumar (Posthumous)|
|2007||Dhiren Dey (Posthumous)|
|2008||Mohammad Abdus Sattar|
|2011||Pradip Kumar Banerjee|
|2012||Jarnail Singh (Posthumous)|
|2013||Balaidas Chatterjee (Posthumous)|
|2015||Karuna Sankar Bhattacharya (Posthumous)|
|2021||Shibaji Banerjee (Posthumous)|
Last updated: 15 July 2021
|President||Swapan Sadhan Bose|
|Vice president||Moloy Ghatak|
|General secretary||Srinjoy Bose|
|Assistant general secretary||Satyajit Chatterjee|
|Finance secretary||Debashis Dutta|
|Football secretary||Swapan Banerjee|
|Cricket secretary||Samrat Bhowmick|
|Ground secretary||Sandipan Banerjee|
|Athletics secretary||Debashish Mitra|
|Youth development secretary||Sanjoy Sen|
Last updated: 20 January 2020
The club's competitive record since the inception of the first national-level league are listed below.
|Season||Domestic League||Domestic Cup
|Asian Club Competitions||Calcutta Premier Division||Other major honours|
|1996–97||NFL||5th of 6 (First Phase)||5||1||3||1||6||5||6||Federation Cup||Quarterfinalist||1st||Bordoloi Trophy|
|2000–01||NFL||2nd||22||13||6||3||40||19||45||[note 2]||1st||Durand Cup,|
|2002–03||NFL||7th||22||9||6||7||35||25||33||Semifinalist||2nd||All Airlines Gold Cup|
|2003–04||NFL||9th||22||6||6||10||23||24||24||[note 2]||2nd||IFA Shield|
|2004–05||NFL||8th||22||5||8||9||16||19||23||Federation Cup||Runners||1st||All Airlines Gold Cup|
|2005–06||NFL||3rd||17||8||6||3||17||10||30||Pre-quarterfinalists||2nd||All Airlines Gold Cup|
|2006–07||NFL||8th||18||5||6||7||15||21||21||Winners||AFC Cup||Group Stage||1st||Indian Super Cup|
|2nd||22||13||4||5||30||20||43||Winners||AFC Cup||Group Stage||1st||Indian Super Cup|
|4th||26||13||8||5||51||32||47||4th of 4||2nd||All Airlines Gold Cup|
|[note 3]10th||26||11||8||7||40||34||29||2nd of 4||2nd|
|1st||20||11||6||3||33||16||39||3rd of 5||2nd|
|2nd||16||8||6||2||32||16||30||Winners||ACL||Qualifying round 2||3rd|
|AFC Cup||Round of 16|
|2nd||18||10||6||2||27||12||36||Runners-up||AFC Cup||Group Stage||3rd|
|3rd||18||8||7||3||28||14||31||Super Cup[note 4]||Semifinals||2nd|
|1st||11||12||3||1||35||13||39||Durand Cup[note 6]||Runners-up||2nd|
- Primary domestic cups in India have varied over time.
- Federation Cup was postponed.
- Mohun Bagan refused to field a side for the second-half of a league match due to crowd troubles. For this reason the club was fined and had to start from nil points midway through the season.
- From this year the Federation Cup was discontinued and a newly rebranded Super Cup was introduced.
- Super Cup was boycotted by I-League clubs in protest of partiality against them over ISL clubs.
- Due to the COVID-19 lockdown Super Cup wasn't held and Durand Cup was promoted to the de facto domestic cup.
- As of 9 June 2020, the following honours are only the AIFF certified titles that Mohun Bagan have won.
|National||NFL / I-League||5||1997–98, 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2014–15, 2019–20|
|Federation Cup||14||1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2015–16|
|Durand Cup||16||1953, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1994, 2000|
|IFA Shield||22||1911, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2003|
|Indian Super Cup||2||2007, 2009|
|Rovers Cup||14||1955, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2000|
|Local||Calcutta Football League||30||1939, 1943, 1944, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2018|
- ATK Mohun Bagan FC
- Mohun Bagan A.C. (cricket)
- Mohun Bagan A.C. (youth)
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