In what could be a game-changing move for the struggling East Bengal, EPL giants Manchester United may take ownership of one of the oldest football clubs in the country.
Former India captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, who is arranging the agreement, told the media that talks are underway with the ‘Red Devils’ and a few others. In a couple of weeks, a clear image should emerge!
East Bengal met with the Bangladesh-based conglomerate Bashundhara Group, but no agreement was actually reached. East Bengal must find a new investor or owner in order to compete in the Indian Super League (ISL), otherwise its not good news for the passionate East Bengal fans.
Breaking the silence on the issue for the first time, Ganguly said, “Yes, we [EB] have spoken to them and others. It will take 10-12 more days to know who will be the entity.”
On being asked whether the European football giants are coming as an investor, the reigning Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said: “No-no [it is coming] as an owner. It takes some time. First, let it reach a stage, and then we will comment. I will speak only after a concrete development.”
Struggling with off-field troubles, the century-old Kolkata heavyweights have battled to maintain their ties with investors, resulting in bad performance.
Initially, the Bengaluru-based Quess Corp left after two years despite a three-year contract, jeopardising its ISL admission.
When it was unable to attract any investors, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stepped in with a deal with Shree Cement Ltd, as it made a last-minute entry into the ISL 2020-21.
The cement firm purchased a 76 percent share in SCEB to assist them enter the ISL and follow its fierce rival Mohun Bagan, which merged with ATK the same season.
SCEB’s association, on the other hand, did not fare well, as its executive committee declined to accept the final agreement, citing irregularities in the initial term.
SC East Bengal signed Liverpool great Robbie Fowler, but owing to poor planning and preparation, it ended ninth in its first ISL season, with nine loses, eight draws, and only three wins.
Shree Cement agreed to continue throughout the ISL 2021-22 season at the insistence of Mamata, where it finished at the bottom of the table with just one win from 20 matches, including 11 losses and eight ties!
Its partnership came to an end last month when Shree Cement Ltd gave over the sporting rights.
So, now if a powerhouse like Manchester United can come in the picture, it will not be short of a Messiah for the Indian club!