East Bengal have been marred with off field issues in the past couple of years. Their last season’s owners Shree Cements terminated their contract after club officials failed to signed the final contract.
East Bengal might be forced off ISL if they do not secure ownership. (Courtesy: PTI)
- East Bengal finished ninth in the points table last season
- East Bengal won only three out of their 20 matches in ISL last season
- Shree Cements terminated their contract after just two seasons with East Bengal
One of the oldest football clubs in India, East Bengal, might be the pathway for Premier League giants Manchester United to enter Indian football. East Bengal, who were founded in 1920, are one of the legacy clubs in the country and are one of the two clubs that participate from Kolkata in the Indian Super League. In terms of football structure, the privately run tournament is the biggest competition in Indian football, followed by the I-League which used to be India’s top flight football earlier.
East Bengal’s stay in the ISL is under threat after their owner’s Shree Cements terminated the contract with the club after two seasons. With no owners at the moment to inject money, East Bengal are not in a position to compete alongside the other clubs, a situation they found themselves in two years back. At that time West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee intervened and got the company onboard which allowed East Bengal to get out of the I-League.
It seems like East Bengal have found themselves in a similar situation once again and this time the deal is negotiated by Board of Control for Cricket in India President Sourav Ganguly.
Speaking to news agency PTI, Ganguly said that he has spoken to European giants Manchester United and talks are ongoing for a club takeover.
“Yes we have spoken to them and others also. It will take 10-12 more days to know who will be the entity,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by PTI.
When asked if United would assume the role of an investor, Ganguly said: “No-no (they are coming) as an owner.”
It takes some time. First, let it reach a stage then we will make a comment. I will speak only after there’s a concrete development,” he added.
Earlier, East Bengal officials found themselves in the crossroads with Shree Cements during the signing of the final contract when they did not agree to give the rights for their logo, tent and the ground despite selling 76 per cent of the club’s shares to the company.
Close to 400 fans clashed in front of the club, with one sign demanding the EB officials to meet Shree Cements’ demands while the other demanding that the officials take a stand against the corporate structure.