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United likely to disband team

Calcutta: Unable to rope in a sponsor yet, the United SC management fears the lack of funds might lead to disbanding of the team. And if things continue in the same manner, it won’t be long before the decision is taken.

It’s been five months into this season and club officials haven’t been able to get a sponsor for the team ever since the deposit-collection controversy led to its parting ways with the Prayag Group — United SC’s previous sponsor.

The team’s performance, too, has taken a dip as club officials and coach Eelco Schattorie agree it’s mainly due to the financial crisis, which has badly affected the players’ motivation level. “We’re really frustrated over the entire matter.

“It’s not possible to run a club solely on borrowed money. It’s getting difficult each passing day. We want to keep hoping for the best instead of throwing in the towel. But nothing positive seems to be happening.

“If things carry on in this manner, we’ll have to give up,” club secretary Alokesh Kundu lamented, on Tuesday.

“We feel extremely bad for the players. You can’t expect them to deliver every time if you’re not able to pay them properly.”

Another official, too, echoed Kundu’s words. “Day-to-day survival is becoming difficult because of the present circumstances. Before the season began, we had got in touch with some companies to settle our sponsorship issue, but they backed out at the last moment.

“Releasing all the foreign players in the squad and playing only with locals is possible in a tournament like the CFL. But in a tournament like I-League where there’s immense competition, you do need the services of overseas players. You cannot succeed without them.”

After the 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Mohun Bagan the other day, Schattorie had remarked that this was the “toughest condition” he had worked under. After Tuesday’s barren draw against Dempo in the I-League, the coach commented that “a feeling of insecurity” has crept into his players, as a result of which, they are unable to deliver.

“At present, we desperately need a positive energy to get the team back on track. But I don’t see anything around. I’m not blaming anyone because people are trying for a solution..

“You can’t just rely on hope to pull you through. Once the hope vanishes, everyone becomes de-motivated and frustrated. And there’s every reason for the hope to vanish.

“Due to the prevailing situation, I feel there’s insecurity amongst players and that could be the main reason why the team is not performing up to the mark,” the Dutchman said.

Buzz is East Bengal officials have got in touch with Ranty Martins and the latter may make a move during the January window. United SC team director Nabaab Bhattacharya had a meeting with Ranty on Tuesday evening and is confident that the Nigerian will stay with the club.

“I’m not interested if any team has approached Ranty or not. All I can say is that he has promised a better performance in the remaining matches,” Bhattacharya remarked.

But here’s what Ranty had to say. “I can’t comment on offers because it’s my personal matter. But I may have to weigh my options during the transfer window.”