The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Md. Sp. hint at Premier tie-up

Calcutta: Boosted by their maiden entry to the National Football League proper, Mohammedan Sporting are set to expand their horizons. The club is set to sign a joint venture with a London-based Premier League club in June. “We don’t want to divulge the name right now. A few formalities are yet to be worked out, but once that is done, we’ll let you know the name,” club secretary Sultan Ahmed said in a press conference Wednesday.

Talking about the project, he said: “It’ll basically be an exchange programme. Our boys will go there and practice with them. Also, some matches will be organised. Similarly, they will also send their team to play here,” he added.

The club will also write a letter to the state government to have their own ground on lease for the whole season. “The ground remains under the control of the Army for a period of time. Then the ground has to be released for hockey. This hampers the practice of our football team,” he said.

Ahmed plans to have both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan by his side in this effort. “Also, we want to quicken the process of rebuilding our stands. Otherwise, we can’t have our Calcutta league matches at home ground,” he said.

Mohammedan Sporting have already appealed to the IFA to allocate all their CFL matches at the Salt Lake Stadium.

The club also plans to have their own academy. “We have already seen a plot in Howrah. It won’t be long before we start working on it,” Ahmed added.

The secretary also informed that they are close to having a sponsor. “But contrary to both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, we will not have the name of our club attached to any company.”

Mohammedan Sporting’s practice for the forthcoming season starts Friday with coach Mohammed Habeeb arriving Thursday.

Ahmed also added that they are even ready to discuss a two-year contract with Habeeb, “who had done a great job in promoting Mohammedan Sporting to the first division of the NFL.”

“If he wants a two-year contract, we will surely think about it,” the secretary added.

The club, meanwhile, in their effort to expand their base, has decided to include members in the executive committee from the districts as well.

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