The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bagan agree to pay Fifa fine

Calcutta: Mohun Bagan, already smarting under financial pressure, have somehow found some courage and are saying the fine slapped by Fifa will be paid. And since the United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt Ltd account cannot be touched by anybody not in the company, this money could come from the club’s general fund, if there is enough money in it.

A meeting of club officials — though nobody knows if and when they can come together purposefully and for a common cause — has been called. The meeting is expected to take place in four-five days.

The club’s assistant secretary Balaram Chowdhury, who is running the show that is mostly the doldrums, said the secretary has been asked to present last year’s accounts.

“If funds permit, the fine will be paid from the club account. Otherwise, I’ll probably have to cough up the sum from my own pocket,” said Chowdhury.

The Fifa fine, imposed for not clearing the dues of Isa Musa Eroje, is big and reads a whopping $11,000 (over Rs five lakh). Eroje, the Nigerian who at best was an irregular player last season, couldn’t have cost the club any dearer!

“Can’t help it. The reputation of a club with such an illustrious past is at stake,” said Chowdhury. He has been shouldering much of the burden of late and is believed to have already spent significantly from his own purse.

Chowdhury’s contribution reportedly includes the payment of players’ salaries last month.

The fine has to be paid within 20 days of receiving the Fifa letter and the club got it on August 7. “We hope to clear it before the deadline.”

Chowdhury added the special officers are aware of the present predicament and they are keen to see an end to the crisis as soon as possible.

In another development, which hints at further factionalism, the club secretary Anjan Mitra has reportedly left for Delhi.

If sources are to be believed, Mitra is going to move Supreme Court, challenging the recent Calcutta High Court order that has barred Mitra and Co. from taking part in activities related to football in Mohun Bagan.

The crisis, it seems, is far from over.

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