Mohammedan Sporting Club Makes History: From Relegation to ISL Promotion, A Tale of Triumph

Mohammedan Players celebrating their historic triumph. Source: Mohammedan SC

After a long wait, Mohammedan Sporting Club has rewritten their name in the record books of Indian Football by winning their first-ever I-League Trophy and securing promotion to the Indian Super League, the top tier of Indian Football. The club, which once dominated Indian Football, went through a prolonged rough patch before returning to glory, marking a fascinating story of triumph for the Black and White Brigade.

“This is a historic moment for the club. We have had to fight for this position all season long and have finally achieved the status of champions. My players deserve all the credit. They are the ones who have fought hard every minute of the league. It was not an easy title to win by any stretch of the imagination. I’m thrilled to work with this bunch of boys, and the club has supported us in such a good way. Now we are reaping the rewards of all the hard work,” said Andrey Chernyshov, head coach of Mohammedan Sporting, after their 2-1 triumph over Shillong Lajong, which crowned them as champions with one match to spare.

Mohammedan Sporting holds a storied legacy in Indian football, marked by pioneering achievements in the 1930s and 1940s. They were the first Indian team to claim the Calcutta Football League title in 1934 and went on to secure back-to-back victories in 1937 and 1938. Notably, in 1936, they achieved a remarkable feat by clinching both the League and the IFA Shield in the same season. Their prowess extended beyond domestic competitions, as they triumphed in the Durand Cup in 1940, enhancing their popularity and establishing them as a dominant force in Indian football.

However, despite their historic successes, Mohammedan Sporting faced a prolonged decline in subsequent decades. Struggling to maintain financial stability and suffering relegation to the second division of the I-League in 2013-14, the club endured challenging times, characterized by inconsistent performances and a lack of silverware.

In recent years, the club has undergone a resurgence, driven by strategic partnerships and improved funding, notably through a collaboration with sports management company Bunkerhill. This revitalization saw Mohammedan Sporting make a strong comeback in the I-League, with notable performances under the guidance of head coach Russian Chernyshov.

Source: Mohammedan SC

Key figures such as President Md Kamaruddin, Secretary General Ishtiaque Ahmed, and former player Dipendu Biswas have played pivotal roles in steering the club towards success. Their collective efforts culminated in significant achievements, including reclaiming the Calcutta League title after a 40-year hiatus and securing consecutive victories in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Despite narrowly missing out on the I-League title in 2021-2022, Mohammedan Sporting’s consistent performance underscores their resurgence and determination to reclaim their status as a football powerhouse in Indian football.

Finally, with Chernyshov at the helm and courtesy of a superlative performance from the whole team, the Black and White Brigade clinched the ultimate silverware and joined East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the ISL, a dream they had been waiting for over the years.

“I have been with the team for four years, and this victory is for all of us. Not only our players, but every support staff member and our fans deserve appreciation for this triumph,” said Dipendu Biswas, former player, and current team manager of Mohammedan.

He got emotional after Mohammedan clinched the title. “I can’t explain in words what this victory means for us. These are tears of happiness. Now that we have been promoted to the ISL, our next target is to perform well and qualify for the AFC Cup.”

The whole team will land in Kolkata at 7 pm on  amidst an elated crowd and will lift the I-League crown after their last home game on 13th April against Delhi FC. They will most likely play their last home game at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *