The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bagan crisis persists
- Special officer returns honorarium cheque

Calcutta: Hit hard by a court order which stripped the executive committee of all powers relating to football matters, the crisis in Mohun Bagan Club showed no signs of subsiding Monday.

The club’s executive committee met this afternoon for the first time since the Calcutta High Court order was passed on Friday and decided to notify the three court-appointed special officers about the deadlines vis-à-vis registration of players for the ensuing season.

Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee, Justice Shyamal Sen and Indrajit Sen — the three-man committee appointed by the high court to run football affairs of the club — were each dispatched a letter signed by Mohun Bagan secretary Anjan Mitra, along with a copy of the solicitors’ letter which communicated the judgment to the club, and cheques for honorariums as directed by the court.

Justice Sen, though, accepted only the club’s letter and the copy of the solicitors’ letter, not the cheque for Rs 50,000.

“Let me first get a copy of the high court order, then I’ll decide whether to accept any honorarium,” said Justice Sen.

Asked about the deadlines dogging the team-forming process, he remarked that the executive committee can go ahead and complete formalities. “I don’t think there will be any problems on that front,” he observed.

Justice Banerjee could not be contacted for his reaction while Indrajit Sen is out of station.

The club officials, however, are reluctant to take any football-related step. “The court order is very clear. We can’t do anything about recruiting players or coaches, it could lead to contempt of court. We have to be guided by our lawyer, our hands are tied,” said Mitra amid chants of supporters demanding a “strong Mohun Bagan team,” whatever the circumstances.

“We have intimated the special officers that we are ready to provide all information and particulars they may need. That’s the best we can do right now... we’ll wait for two days before deciding on the next course of action,” Mitra said.

Besides informing the three special officers about the June 4 deadline of registering local players and the May 30 last date for submission of inter-state transfer forms, Mitra’s letter mentions that training for the next season is scheduled to begin on June 1.

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