Calcutta: His stint with Mohun Bagan might have come to an abrupt end, courtesy Anjan Mitra’s unilateral decision Tuesday, but coach Subrata Bhattacharya is not ready to put the blame on the club secretary’s shoulders.
“He is not the one to be blamed, his hands were tied,” an angry Subrata told The Telegraph when contacted late Tuesday.
He feels it was the handiwork of a few other officials that ensured the premature termination of his contract. “It is a money game that has snowballed into this,” he said. “The secretary needed the money to run the club and to make the many important payments. For this he needed the signatures of certain people, and this was the pound of flesh extracted.”
Mitra, however, had made it clear at his press conference that it was his own decision and the other officials have only assented. The coach’s statement brings to light the many factions that the club now has to deal with.
“What locus standi have these office bearers anyway'” asked the coach. “When has the club had proper elections, hence who are the legitimate officials of the club anyway'”
The coach felt, it seemed that now that the main “hurdle” is out of the way, sudden payments will be seen, as if I had been stopping them…”
The coach said that he intends writing to the secretary protesting the sacking, though he didn’t reveal anything about the letter’s contents.
Subrata’s second innings with Mohun Bagan started in 1999 and in this three-and-a-half year stint, the coach helped the team win 12 titles, including two National Leagues, the Federation Cup, Durand Cup, Calcutta League and IFA Shield titles.
The coach rubbished the allegations raised against him. “It’s all fabricated. I haven’t said a thing that is being told against me,” the coach quipped.
He, however, said that the club has the right to terminate the contract before its expiry date on April 28. “There is nothing in the contract that can force the secretary or the club to have to issue a showcause notice on me first,” he said.
Bidesh Bose, one of the ex-players who is one of those tipped for the coaching as an interim case, or Shyamal Banerjee, for that matter, happen to be somewhat close to the sacked coach. That being so, there does remain a bit of doubt as to their placement. Not that the club has any alternative in mind so far.
Secretary Mitra said the issue will be placed in front of the executive committee Wednesday. The meeting will also decide the club’s stand this season on the transfers issue.
Tailpiece: It may be recalled that the club had sacked coach Amal Datta, too, for “anti-football activities”. Datta has not been able to move into the club thereafter. Mitra said he wasn’t sure if this would be Bhattacharya’s fate. “Only time can say,” he muttered.