The road to history: Mohun Bagan's epic step to organise an I-League match in their own stadium

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Kolkata: Mohun Bagan is all set to create a new history as the club is all set to host an I-League match in their own ground as the first club in the history of the league. In an interaction with correspondent Suman Chakravorty, Mohun Bagan's Assistant Secretary Srinjoy Bose discusses the journey to make it a success. Here goes the interaction...

XT: No other I-League club has shown this courage to host I-League matches at their own stadiums. Mohun Bagan is all set to create another history in doing that. How did you get the confidence in doing it?
Srinjoy Bose: We always take up new challenges. This is nothing new for us. We have done so many things in the past which no other club had done in the past. We are really thankful with the way the West Bengal Govt. has come forward to develop the infrastructure. The flood lights, the bucket seats and more importantly the grant that allowed us to build the full scale development of the ground, they helped us in every possible way. We were getting ready for the opportunity and when it arrived, we didn't look back and grabbed it. One thing which I wanna add is that our respected seniors like Anjan Mitra, Swapan Sadhan Basu have always been there as the father figures, but we developped a seven-member working group to execute our plans which included me, Debasish Dutta, Uttam Saha, Sanjoy Ghosh, Suman Ghosh, Imran Khan and Subhabrata Dey who joined later. Later on we included a new lad named Debojit into that group. We are always available. We are also grateful to Akhand who also worked for ATK, U17 World Cup and also to develop Salt Lake Stadium and Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. We made the plans but he was there to execute those, which is important. We also want to thank Mr Aroop Biswas for his cordial support.

XT: What do you think about the capacity of the stadium? It's happening at the Maidan and a good turn out is expected.
Srinjoy Bose: At this juncture I would like to say that this is really heartening to see that even at the Salt Lake Stadium the crowd has been very small. Same thing happened at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium last season. It is also a very funny thing that a few fans have started to say on facebook that for what should we go to support the team after just two draws! So, firstly I think those who are saying this are not true Mohun Bagan fans. Supporting Mohun Bagan is a kind of a religion for us. If that is thr case, teams like Liverpool and Arsenal should shut down considering their performances.

XT: Will there be any fan park at the stadium in the I-League like you did it in the CFL?
Srinjoy Bose: No, not right now. In the CFL the situation was different. The ticket prices are different. To host an I-League game at the Salt Lake Stadium it generally costs around Rs.10 lakh per game. If we host it at our ground, it will certainly be less. I cannot show the games on free in the I-League like we did it in the CFL. So the fans need to buy the tickets to cheer for the team. People are going to the IPL by purchasing tickets during the IPL, then why not here! People should understand that the club is also having some problems.

XT. How much thrilled you are for the historic moment?
Srinjoy Bose: We will only feel thrilled after 4 o'clock tomorrow when we will successfully organise the game. There are many things still left. It's a cordial request for the supporters and members who will come tomorrow, that Mohun Bagan club is your club and you should behave in a way which is befitting to a national club of the country. This club is a temple for us and we should be careful about our behaviour. Any sort of incident will lead towards blacklisting the venue and that could be a major upset for the club.

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