Kolkata football giants East Bengal on Thursday announced Shree Cements as their new investors. The Red and Gold brigade further declared that they will now appeal to the organisers of the Indian Super League (ISL) to become a part of this season’s competition.
The East Bengal Bengal and Shree Cements officials made the announcement in a joint press conference with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“This will show a new path to others. It is really commendable of Shree Cements to come up and invest in football in such times. Hopefully, there won’t be any more difficulties for East Bengal in the future. We want Bengal to be best in everything. Bengal should always show the way. Really happy that East Bengal’s problems are over and they can take part in the ISL,” Banerjee said.
“This association with the cement company will be strong. All our success in the 100th year will be dedicated to Mamata Banerjee,” said EB general secretary Kalyan Majumdar.
The nature of the partnership and the official information on the deal between the business entity and the football club are yet to be known.
Evern since city rivals Mohun Bagan had joined hands with ATK to get their name registered in ISL, East Bengal were under tremendous pressure to make their case for India’s premier football competition.
Due to lack of investors and financial stability, the club were earlier denied entry into the ISL by the Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL). But with a new investor at their disposal, East Bengal’s fate has turned for the better.
However, if East Bengal will play ISL this season remains in doubt. The organisers have already declared that it will be a 10-club competition which can start in November.
Several media reports stated that the FSDL and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) were considering the entry of East Bengal into ISL not before the 2021-22 season.
But with the coronavirus-forced delayed start to this season and East Bengal with a new investor, if AIFF and FSDL will make a last minute adjust or not will be interesting to find out.
“After getting the investor, we will appeal to play in the ISL. We will adhere to their system. We (East Bengal) sat down with them last evening but all the issues were not solved, Mamata Banerjee was present and she herself helped iron out the details,” EB secretary Debabrata Sarkar said.