ATK (football club)
|Founded||7 May 2014|
|Ground||Salt Lake Stadium|
|Owner||Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd.|
|Head Coach||Ashley Westwood (interim)|
|League||Indian Super League|
|2016||Regular season: 4th
ATK (Previously known as Atlético de Kolkata), is an Indian Super League football club based in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was established on 7 May 2014 as the first team in the league, and plays its home games at the Salt Lake Stadium.
The team is owned by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. which consists of former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, alongside businessmen Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka and Utsav Parekh. Initially for first three seasons Spanish La Liga club Atlético Madrid were also a co-owner, later Goenka bought the shares owned by Atlético Madrid. After the end of their partnership with Spanish giant, Atletico de Kolkata has been rechristened to ATK. The team's name and colours are derived from their former Spanish partner.
Under coach Antonio López Habas, Atlético were the hosts and winners of the first match of the Indian Super League. They won the inaugural season, beating Kerala Blasters 1–0 in the final, and 2 years later, in 2016 edition under José Francisco Molina kolkata won on penalties against the same opponent in the final
- 1 History
- 2 Stadium
- 3 Support
- 4 Players
- 5 Current technical staff
- 6 Management
- 7 Team records
- 8 Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
- 9 Honours
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
In March 2014, it was announced that the All India Football Federation, the national federation for football in India, and IMG-Reliance would be accepting bids for ownership of eight of nine selected cities for the upcoming Indian Super League, an eight-team franchise league modeled along the lines of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. On 13 April 2014, it was announced that Sourav Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka, Utsav Parekh, and Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid had won the bid for the Kolkata franchise. It turned out to be the most expensive franchise, being purchased for 18 crore (around US$3 million). On 7 May 2014, the team was officially launched as Atlético de Kolkata.
On 7 July, the team's jersey and logo were unveiled by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Nabanna building, temporary headquarters of the state's secretariat. The logo features a hybrid Bengal tiger–phoenix, with the latter element being symbolic of perpetuity, due to the footballing heritage in Kolkata. Five stars above the crest symbolise the five owners of the club. The shield is striped with tigers' stripes.
The Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. is a consortium established to oversee the administration and operations of Atlético Kolkata of the Indian Super League. The consortium is made up of former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, businessmen Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka, and Utsav Parekh, as well as Atlético Madrid of La Liga in Spain.
The club's initial sponsors were Indian telecommunications corporation Aircel, while its partners were Kolkata-based underwear brand Lux Cozi and insurance firm Apollo Munich. In October 2015, Kolkata-based Birla Tyres agreed a deal to be the principal sponsors for the club's second and third seasons.
The club signed their first player on 4 July 2014 with the acquisition of former Real Madrid midfielder Borja Fernández. The team then went on to sign two more Spaniards: their first head coach, Antonio López Habas, and marquee player, former UEFA Champions League winner Luis García, on 8 July 2014.
The first Indian signing by the club took place in round one of the 2014 ISL Inaugural Domestic Draft in which Atlético de Kolkata selected Cavin Lobo, midfielder for the city's I-League team East Bengal FC, with their pick. They were the biggest spenders in the draft with an expenditure of 3.91 crore, their biggest signing being Sanju Pradhan for 70 lakh. In the International Draft, four of Atlético de Kolkata's allotted seven picks were Spaniards, including defender Josemi, a UEFA Champions League winner with Liverpool in 2005. On 6 September, the team bolstered their midfield with the acquisition of Mamunul Islam, captain of the Bangladesh national team, who stated that the move would help relations between East Bengal (Bangladesh) and West Bengal.
The club played their first match on 12 October 2014 at home against Mumbai City FC in the opening Indian Super League match. Fikru Teferra scored the first goal in team and league history in the 27th minute as Atlético de Kolkata went on to win 3–0.
By finishing third in the league, the club qualified for the end-of-season play-offs, where they advanced via a penalty shootout past FC Goa in the semi-finals after a goalless draw. At the final against the Kerala Blasters at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, Atlético won 1–0 with an added-time goal by Mohammed Rafique. At the end of season awards, García was named the Most Exciting Player.
On 5 June 2015, the team acquired Canadian international forward Iain Hume, whose five goals had helped Kerala to the final of the previous season. In the second season's domestic draft, Atlético de Kolkata had the first pick, choosing Pune F.C. goalkeeper Amrinder Singh for a fee of 4.5 lakhs; their most expensive purchase was that of defender Augustin Fernandes for 26 lakhs. On 29 July, with García released due to his injury record, the team brought in Portugal international forward Hélder Postiga as their new marquee player; aged 32, he became the youngest such player in the league. García's role as captain was taken on by his compatriot Borja.
Postiga scored twice in Atlético's first game of the season, a 3–2 win at Chennaiyin FC, but was substituted later in the match due to injury, and missed the rest of the campaign. Pelé, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, watched the 2–1 win over Kerala at the Salt Lake Stadium on 13 October, Atlético's first home game of the season. Hume scored two hat-tricks in November, in 4–1 wins against Mumbai City, and FC Pune City. The latter result made the team the first to qualify for the play-offs, where they lost 4–2 on aggregate to Chennaiyin.
In March 2016, it was reported that López Habas would leave the club due to concerns over his ₹2.35 crore ($350,000) annual salary. On 25 April, he left for Pune. On 3 May, he was replaced by another Spaniard, former Villarreal manager José Francisco Molina. Postiga returned to be the marquee again, but suffered another long-term injury early into the second game of the season. The club's ownership admitted that they had wanted a different marquee due to his record, but had been unable to sign one.
Atlético de Kolkata finished in fourth place, taking the final position in the finals, and were drawn against first-place Mumbai in the semi-finals. They hosted a 3–2 win in the first leg, with all goals in the first half, including two by Hume, and advanced with a goalless draw in the second leg. In the final, away to Kerala on 18 December, Kolkata fell behind to a goal by their former player Mohammed Rafi, and equalised before half-time with a header by defender Henrique Sereno. The game went to penalties, with Hume having Atlético's first attempt saved by Graham Stack, but Elhadji Ndoye missed for Kerala and Debjit Majumder saved from Cédric Hengbart to win Kolkata the title.
After the separation from Spanish Giants Atlético Madrid,most of the squad was not retained for the new season. ATK decided to form a new team with new ambitions to offer something new, that the fans have never witnessed before. On 14 July 2017, ATK appointed former England international striker Teddy Sheringham as their head coach for the upcoming season. While former Bengaluru FC head coach Ashley Westwood was appointed as the technical director for the club. On 4 August, the team acquired former Irish international forward Robbie Keane as their new marquee player. The team roped in Zequinha for the fourth edition of the league along with the likes of Carl Baker,Conor Thomas,Tom Thorpe and Jordi Figueras Montel among the foreign signings while Prabir Das and Debjit Majumdar were the only ones to be retained from the previous season. Jayesh Rane,Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Robin Singh and Keegan Pereira were some of the new Indian signings for the season.The team played their first match against Kerala Blasters where they were held at a goalless draw and later on lost to FC Pune City (4-1) at home. Former Newcastle United player Ryan Taylor was roped in to replace injured Carl Baker and played a pivotal role in the club's first win of the season against Mumbai City FC where Robin Singh scored his first ever goal for ATK. Robbie Keane scored his first ever goal in the ISL against Delhi Dynamos FC which turned out to be the only goal of the match. In the winter transfer window ATK let go of the services of Njazi Kuqi, Augustine Fernandes and Jussi Jääskeläinen. While the Finnish Goalkeeper joined as the goalkeeper coach for the club, the replacements were made very soon with ATK announcing the signing of David Cotterill, Soram Poirei and Martin Paterson into the squad.
On 24 January 2018, Sheringham was sacked by ATK after winning only three of his ten games in charge and appointed Ashley Westwood as their interim coach. On 25 January, the team lost their fifth match of the season against Chennaiyin FC (2-1) at home. This was their fourth home match of the season and they were expected to shine. Martin Paterson gave the team a lead before half time but ATK could not keep it for long. The away team came strong in the second half and snatched away the win from the home side. Ryan Taylor and Zequinha both suffered injuries during the match which resulted in forced substitution of Hitesh Sharma and Ashutosh Mehta. But both of them failed to deliver. This was their first match under Ashley Westwood but the team showed the same results. The team lost their third match in a row when they faced debutants Jamshedpur FC at home. They lost the match 1-0 and showed no signs of improvement. Robbie Keane came in after recovering from a knee injury in the match against Bengaluru FC. The team lost the match 2-0 and it was their fourth consecutive loss. It was the first time in four seasons that ATK lost four consecutive matches.They faced Kerala Blasters FC in a return fixture on 8 February 2018 where they managed to hold the game 2-2 at home. The visitor took the lead twice but a goal each from Ryan Taylor and Tom Thorpe brought the home side into the game again. Soram Poirei was given his first start of the season in goal replacing Debjit Majumdar. Robbie Keane yet again didn't feature in the squad due to his groin injury along with David Cotterill, Prabir Das and Zequinha. Zequinha has travelled back home for rehab and is out for the rest of the season. They lost 2-1 at home against Mumbai City FC, meaning for the first time in four years ATK failed to make it to the playoffs. The losing spell continued for the defending champions when they lost against Delhi Dynamos FC (4-3) away from home. The home side took the lead first but a debut goal from Sibongakonke Mbatha and a brace from Robbie Keane made the away side look a sure winner but the home side came in strong in the later stages of the match and snatched away a brilliant victory.
The 85,000-capacity Salt Lake Stadium is the home ground of Atlético de Kolkata. The multi-purpose stadium, located in Salt Lake City (Bidhan Nagar), in the outskirts of Kolkata, is the largest stadium in the country. The Salt Lake Stadium is owned by the West Bengal State Government.Salt Lake Stadium, officially known as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK),is the largest stadium in India by seating capacity. Before its renovation in 2011, it was the second largest football stadium in the world, having a seating capacity of 120,000. Prior to the construction and opening of Rungrado May Day Stadium in 1989, it was the largest football stadium in the world. The stadium hosted the final match of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, alongside hosting other matches of the tournament.
Atlético de Kolkata played their first two seasons at Salt Lake Stadium, but in the 2016 season, they had to move to Rabindra Sarobar Stadium due to the unavailability of Salt Lake Stadium, which was shortlisted as one of the venues for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. During the first season Atlético de Kolkata has achieved an average home attendance of 45,172 per match and most attended game of the season with 65,000 people.
During the second season, 405,659 people attended the home matches of Kolkata (most by any club in that season) with an average of 50,707 per match, and they held the most attended game of the season for the second year in a row with 68,340 people. During the third season, an average of 11,703 people per match attended the home matches of Kolkata.
Atlético de Kolkata, and the ISL in general, were initially announced with a mixed reception among football fans in Kolkata. Some locals feared that it could overshadow the development of players at the city's two long-established I-League clubs, while others saw the new franchise as a way to unite both sets of I-League supporters, who would be drawn together further by the involvement of Ganguly, who is idolised across the state.
Ahead of the second season, the franchise accredited the ATK Fans Fraternity (ATKFF), whose ₹800 membership includes a home season ticket and an official jersey. The fraternity offered 4,000 memberships in an exclusive part of the stadium. Firstpost journalist Pulasta Dhar described it as a "brilliant" deal which could be replicated in order to help all ISL clubs fill their stadia.
- As of 18 January 2018
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- As of 23 July 2017.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Current technical staff
- As of 24 January 2018
|Head Coach||Ashley Westwood(interim)|
|Assistant Coach||Kevin Keen|
|Assistant Coach||Bastob Roy|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Jussi Jääskeläinen|
|Head Physiotherapist||Samuel Coleman|
|Assistant Physiotherapist||Noel Augustine|
|Performance Analyst||Matt Holland|
|Head of Sports Science||Nicholas Davies|
|Team Doctor||Rafi Bhati|
|Head of youth development||Sanjoy Sen|
|Youth team Assistant Coach||Barun Sengupta|
|Team Manager||Avishek Bhattacharjee|
- As of 8 July 2017
|Owner||Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd.|
|Head of Advisory committee||Anjan Chowdhury|
|Grassroots Incharge||Ashish Sarkar|
- As of 22 February 2018
|Season||ISL League Stage||ISL Result||Top Goalscorer|
Head coach record
- As of 22 February, 2018
|Antonio Lopez Habas||Spain||August 2014||December 2015||33||13||11||09||45||34||39.39|
|José Francisco Molina||Spain||May 2016||December 2016||17||06||09||02||19||16||35.29|
|Teddy Sheringham||England||July 2017||January 2018||10||03||03||04||07||12||30.00|
|Ashley Westwood(interim)||England||January 2018||06||00||01||05||07||13||0.00|
All-time player records
- As of 23 February 2018
- Most appearances for the club - Borja Fernández (48)
- Top goalscorer for the club - Iain Hume (18 goals)
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
|Period||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsor|
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- "Atletico De Kolkata signs Luis Garcia for Indian Super League". Economic Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
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- Agarwal, Dipesh (13 October 2015). "ISL 2015: Atletico de Kolkata see off Kerala Blasters to secure 2–1 win". Sportskeeda. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Atletico Kolkata thrash Mumbai City thanks to Iain Hume hat trick." ESPN. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Agarwal, Dipesh (27 November 2015). "ISL 2015: Iain Hume hat-trick helps Atletico de Kolkata qualify for playoffs after beating Pune City 4–1". Sportskeeda. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Atlético beat Pune to become first team to reach semis". Indian Super League. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- Bali, Rahul (16 December 2015). "Indian Super League: Atletico de Kolkata 2–1 Chennaiyin FC: Edel brilliance sees Machans progress to the final". Goal.com. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- Sarkar, Dhirman (5 March 2016). "Why are Atletico de Kolkata looking for a new coach?". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
- Nickels, Jepher Christopher (25 April 2016). "Indian Super League: FC Pune City name Antonio Lopez Habas as head coach". India Today. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
- Sen, Rohan (3 May 2016). "ISL: Ex-Villarreal boss Jose Molina roped in as Atletico de Kolkata coach". India Today. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "ISL: Helder Postiga ruled out of action for next three matches". One India. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Premachandran, Dileep (17 December 2016). "Indian Super League final preview: Kerala Blasters v Atletico de Kolkata". The National. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Bera, Kaustav (10 December 2016). "ISL 2016: Atletico de Kolkata 3-2 Mumbai City FC - Iain Hume brace helps Rojiblancos clinch thriller as Diego Forlan sees red". Goal.com. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Sarkar, Dhiman (18 December 2016). "Atletico de Kolkata crowned ISL 2016 champions after beating Kerala Blasters FC". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "Sheringham, Meulensteen roped in as coaches for ISL4". espn.in. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "Robbie Keane: Veteran striker joins Indian champions Atletico de Kolkata". 4 August 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "ISL: ATK sack coach Teddy Sheringham".
- Tony, Antony (13 December 2015). "12th Man Awes Blasters". New Indian Express. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Can football really rival cricket in India? Yes, says Michael Chopra". bbc.com. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Dhar, Pulasta (12 October 2014). "Kolkata's changing football dynamic: Divided by East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, united by ISL". First Post. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- Dhar, Pulasta (27 August 2015). "Atletico de Kolkata's brilliant fan membership deal is something other ISL clubs should replicate". First Post. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- Bilgi, Sumedh (11 September 2015). "Video: Torres calls Atletico de Kolkata fans for support". Goal.com. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- "Under 18 squad". Hero I-League. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
- "The official Website of the Hero Indian Super League". www.indiansuperleague.com. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Kerala were made to rue their missed opportunities as Kolkata popped up with the only goal of the final in the dying moments". goal.com. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "The Sourav Ganguly co-owned outfit won their second Indian Super League title at the expense of Kerala Blasters..." goal.com. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "Goalscorers". worldfootball.net.