SHAJI PRABHAKARAN

A Thought Leader – Football is Life

SHAJI PRABHAKARAN
INDIAN FOOTBALL

Mohammedan Sporting scripts something remarkable by achieving promotion to Indian Super League

MSC LogoThe Mohammedan Sporting Club — a historical institution in India’s football culture — has made history by winning the I-League trophy this season (2023-24) to secure promotion to the Indian Super League (ISL).

Established in 1891, Mohammedan Sporting stands equally with leading clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, forming the mythical trio of Indian football legends. Mohammedan Sporting was the first native club to win the Calcutta Football League (CFL) in 1934, and by 1938 the club created history again by winning 5 consecutive CFL titles, the first by any Indian club.

However, Mohammedan Sporting couldn’t write the same success stories in the National Football League or I-League as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal from 1996 to 2023, till this season’s remarkable achievement. The other two giants moved to Indian Super League (ISL) by securing franchise licenses but Mohammedan Sporting chose a harder path to reach to the top league of India. Thanks to the implementation of the AFC Roadmap since last season 2022-23, the I-League clubs getting promoted to ISL. No doubt, by securing promotion to ISL, Mohammedan Sporting would once again become a magnet of the football fans not only in Bengal but across India as the club has a traditional fan base that can bring a sea of passion into football and help the game grow in India.

Apt Partnership 

Mohammedan Sporting management teamed up with Bunkerhill was one of the important milestones to achieve this success. The club could inject much-needed funds into the first team and improve overall management of the club.
This cash injection helped the club a lot. It proves that old-fashioned teams can also do well with smart money decisions and good investments.


Bringing back this famous club shows what can happen when you manage money well and make smart investments. It’s a big deal for Mohammedan Sporting and shows that even old clubs can be successful with the right partnership and financial management..
This partnership not only makes sure the club can keep going but also shows that Mohammedan Sporting is ready to compete and stay strong. It sets a good example for other clubs in India to recreate the Mohammedan Sporting model to strike a success.
It was not an easy partnership, there were days when the partnership almost broke but somehow it continued due to some smart decision makers on both sides. No doubt, local government also put its weight behind the forward movement of the club and all the way, MSC was destined to achieve this success with the active support of the local stakeholders and the key partner, Bunkerhill taking the right decision at the right time to keep a century old institution moving in the right direction.

Fan Base and Legacy

Mohammedan Sporting Club players celebrate a goal. Photo: X@MohammedanSC

Not only does Mohammedan SC entering the Indian Super League enhances the league’s diversity, it also brings forward a fan base that already exists. The raw enthusiasm and high spirits of Mohammedan Sporting supporters give us a catch of our breath while walking through stadiums across the nation.
But with echoes of the 30s to 80s football culture back to what it used to be, Calcutta Maidans again will be revived with fans’ cheers and the whole spirit of rivalry.

 

 

Impact on Indian Football

Mohammedan Sporting promotion to the ISL is a merit-based achievement. Thus, this achievement of the club will always stand out compared to its Kolkata rivals. A club like MSC moving up the ladder will certainly encourage many other clubs to dream big. A case study of the Mohammedan Sporting Club must be published with the facts, figures and developments that had an impact on the club moving in the direction to achieving something remarkable, like getting promoted to ISL. No doubt, after a long time fans of the club have the best opportunity to come together in large numbers and celebrate the success of the club.

The Kolkata Derby, one of the best derbies in Asia, will have additional derby days with MSC and that way football in India will have additional match days to show its strength and diversity to global football. The Kolkata derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in ISL are the blockbuster match days and with MSC joining the ISL there will be foud additional Kolkata derby match days. What a value uptick for football and ISL in India. Each of these matches are not less than US$10 million in the current football economic bracket and this value can easily go up to US$100 million if it is packaged and promoted with a strategy and plan.

CFL match
The addition of Mohammedan Sporting to the Indian Super League (ISL) heralds a new era of heightened competition within the league. With its storied history and fierce competitive ethos, the club is poised to inject an electrifying energy into the ISL, promising fans exhilarating matches and intense derby rivalries, especially in the footballing heartland of Kolkata.
Mohammedan Sporting joining the ISL isn’t just about exciting games. It’s a nod to India’s football history and a blueprint for other clubs. This step doesn’t just make the league bigger; it ignites a spirit of striving for greatness in Indian football.
It sets a standard for others to follow, showing what can be achieved through dedication and determination. By welcoming Mohammedan Sporting, the ISL isn’t just gaining a team; it’s gaining a symbol of India’s footballing passion. This move encourages other clubs to dream big and work hard, knowing they too can leave their mark on the sport.

The Bottom Line

Mohammedan Sporting’s journey to the Indian Super League shows how old clubs can stay strong and how teaming up with the right partners can make a big difference.
As they get ready to play in the top league of Indian football, Mohammedan Sporting is carrying the dreams of their loyal fans.
Their promotion isn’t just about winning games; it’s about showing the never-give-up spirit of football and always aiming for the best.
By joining the ISL, Mohammedan Sporting is opening the door to a new era of football greatness, encouraging future generations to believe in their dreams and never give up, no matter what.

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