The Calcutta Football League is one of the oldest and premier Football leagues in India. It has been played since 1898 and this year, it marks the 121st year of the league. However, since Independence in 1947, the league has been dominated by three clubs notably East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting. In 72 years of independence India, East Bengal won the title 36 times, including eight consecutive times from 2010 and 2017. Mohun Bagan has won 27 titles including the last one in 2018 while Mohammedan Sporting has won it four times but the last one was way back in 1981.
However, in the 2019 edition of the Calcutta Football League, the old order has been challenged in a big way. For the first time since Independence, neither of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal or Mohammedan Sporting are at the top of the Calcutta Football League. A relatively unknown club, Peerless SC, are leading the table with 14 points from seven games. Peerless have won four out of their last five games while Mohun Bagan are second with East Bengal and Mohammedan in fourth and fifth respectively.
Peerless has dazzled in the 2019 Calcutta Football League and they began their campaign with a bang by defeating 30-time and defending champions Mohun Bagan 3-0 while their fortunes received an even bigger boost when they defeated 39-time champions East Bengal. Ansumana Kromah from Malaysia is the leading goal-scoring in the tournament with 11 goals and he plays for Peerless.
The Peerless Football team is part of the Peerless Group which is an Indian business conglomerate located at Kolkata. It was established in 1932 by industrialist Radhashyam Roy. The group's major holding company is Peerless General Finance & Investment Co Ltd, which is the India's Registered Residuary Non-banking Company. It has subsidiaries like Peerless Hospital, Bengal Peerless (real estate), Kaizen Holidays, Peerless Hotels, and Peerless Securities.
For a long time, the Calcutta Football League has witnessed several memorable moments and these have revolved around the Derby clashes between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. In 2019, with the Derby still gaining plenty of eyeballs and viewership, this gives a chance for a small team to crash the party and create their own sense of history in a league that is so rich in Indian footballing history.