The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bagan boot out coach Subrata

Calcutta: The Subrata Bhattacharya era at Mohun Bagan has come to an end. His four-year stint ended in ignominy Tuesday, when club officials handed the pink slip to one of the most successful coaches of recent times for “anti-football activities”.

Addressing the media at the club tent, Mohun Bagan secretary Anjan Mitra charged the coach with inciting the players to boycott the last two National Football League matches without their dues being cleared.

“It is an assault not only on Mohun Bagan but on the game itself,” the secretary said. “Never have I heard any coach indulging in such anti-soccer activity. We had no option but to sack him,” Mitra added.

Narrating the incident, Mitra said: “Last night, I came to know that the coach had asked the boys not to play the last two games. It was a shock for me and I immediately called up a couple of the senior players.”

Mitra said that he had interacted with a senior foreigner (read Jose Ramirez Barreto) and a senior outstation player (read Bhaichung Bhutia) who had informed him about the incident. “They seemed to be all at sea being instigated by the coach not to play the last two games,” the secretary said.

When asked about the time about ‘instigation’, Mitra said: “He did it before the Tollygunge Agragami game and even after the game at the Salt Lake Stadium. Subrata had no business saying such things to the players. Even if he had come to me and tried to find an amicable solution, we could have given it a thought, but not now.”

He felt that had the coach been retained the club’s administration would have broken down. “There have been so many occasions when everyone has gone against him, but I’ve stood by him. But this action of his is beyond explanation.”

Though the coach was present in the bar pujo (which takes place on the morning of the Bengali New Year’s Day), nothing was told to him then. However, the letter, drafted in the afternoon and signed by Mitra, stated his stint as the coach is terminated “with immediate effect”.

Meanwhile, the officials informed that the junior team coaches Bidesh Bose and Shyamal Banerjee will be asked to look after the team for the last two National League matches against ITI and HAL, and if they do not take the responsibility, it will be handed over to ‘some senior player of the team’.

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