Iconic footballer and former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who has all along been vocal about the inclusion of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League (ISL), is happy about the two giants of Indian football joining the country's top league in the current session.
Mohun Bagan have already become a part of the ISL this session by joining hands with ATK, an ISL franchise. And with Sree Cement joining East Bengal as their investor, the Red and Gold brigade is also set to join the ISL bandwagon.
Bhaichung Bhutia on the entry of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal
Bhaichung feels that it's a win-win situation for everyone. Speaking to IANS, the legendary footballer said, "I think everybody will benefit from this association. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan need a platform like the ISL, and ISL also needs clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. These clubs have a huge fan base. So, to me, everybody is going to benefit. It's a win-win situation for everyone."
Setting aside the general perception that ISL organisers were reluctant to adopt these two big names in the ISL fold, Bhaichung said that it takes time to take a call on legacy clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
"Adopting clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan takes time. They thought it was not important initially, but I don't think the ISL management ever thought that they will not include East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. It was only a matter of time I guess," Bhaichung said.
"Every country needs a good league and good teams playing in it. And a good league with good teams will only help the development of football in the country," Bhaichung said.
The former India skipper also feels that a professional body running the country's top league under the guidance of the national football federation is nothing new. This is happening all over the world.
When asked about the country's top league being managed by a private body, the former India skipper said, "I don't think so. The top leagues around the world are being managed by separate parties."
Bhaichung had earlier expressed his happiness over the fact that East Bengal have finally got an investor.
"I am very happy that finally East Bengal have got an investor and are hopeful of playing in the ISL this year. I am really happy for the fans. They have been praying to see East Bengal play in the top league," he told IANS earlier.