The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bagan ratify Subrata sacking

Calcutta: A day after the sacking of Subrata Bhattacharya, there was hardly anything quiet on the Mohun Bagan front and the century-old club does not even seem to be quickly ‘liberated’ from the deeds of its most successful coach of recent times.

On Wednesday, the club’s executive committee ratified the decision of showing Subrata as coach the door and further warned him that any anti-club comments from him would culminate in the forfeiture of his club membership as well.

“The club executive committee today ratified secretary Anjan Mitra’s decision to sack the coach. President (Swapan Sadhan Basu) and assistant general secretary (Balaram Chowdhury), who could not attend the meeting because of their outstation commitments, also approved the decision over telephone,” veteran official Samar (Badru) Banerjee, who chaired the hour-long meeting, told reporters this evening.

“We also expect him (Subrata) to behave properly in future. We have decided to cancel his general club membership if there is any further criticism from him of the executive committee members or against the administration or the institution in general,” the executive committee member added.

This was anticipated, or one may say, following the club’s tradition. But the day after Subrata’s fall also revealed a number of grey areas.

As Banerjee admitted, most club executives were unaware of the sack decision. He, however, added that the secretary is empowered to take such a decision under “exigent circumstances”.

Fair enough. But none of the nine committee members who were present in the closed-door meeting Wednesday, came out with any concrete answer when asked on what the seriousness of Subrata’s anti-club activities were based.

As Mitra pointed out: “He (Subrata) was accused of instigating the players against the club (read the powers-that-be). This is more serious and more grave than his previous (anti-club) activities. Hence the sacking.”

Does it mean the players have approached the club loaded with complaints against the coach' Mitra remained silent. Has he acted on hearsay' Again, mum’s the word for the secretary.

Mitra, however, said he wants to go through the files before commenting on Subrata’s allegation that the club still owes him about Rs 1,75,000. The official also kept mum when asked if there was any squabble between the administration and players over their payment dues.

There is also an interestingly anecdote to the drama, which is certain not to die down in a jiffy. On March 29, the club said it had asked Subrata to show cause why action shouldn’t be taken against him for alleged derogatory comments against the executive committee members. He had reportedly been asked to reply within 21 days. That show-cause notice, however, is yet reach Subrata.

And now the club administration is saying a fresh ‘warning’ notice will be sent to the sacked coach, stating the list of do’s and don’ts for him to keep the membership intact.

Post script: Unceremonious sacking of coaches is not uncommon at the Maidan. And performance does not always enusre survival.

The officials now say Bidesh Bose and Shaymal Banerjee, both contemporaries and ‘friends’ of Subrata, will be interim coaches for the remaining season. Going by the club’s tradition, though, it will hardly be surprising if Subrata returns to the limelight. Not now, but may be in the near future.

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