Calcutta: It’s official. Armando Colaco will remain as East Bengal coach for one more season.
East Bengal officials made this announcement at the club tent in a hurriedly called media conference on Thursday. “He wrote to us confirming his availability and stated ‘I’m honoured to remain with East Bengal and I’ll strive hard towards success’,” club secretary Kalyan Majumdar said.
It was just a week ago that East Bengal officials had said “Colaco’s chapter was closed” as the club apparently did not give in to the Goan’s long list of demands including allowing him to coach an ISL team for three months.
The country’s most successful club coach with five national league titles was East Bengal’s hot favourite since the 2013-14 season concluded. After guiding East Bengal to finish second in the I-League from a difficult position, the club was keen on renewing their contract with Colaco.
Majumdar said Colaco would get a gym manager-cum-instructor and a nutritionist as per his wish. “But the contract clearly says he will not be allowed to coach any ISL team. There is no confusion on that.”
Colaco said his family wanted him to stay with East Bengal. “I got so much success in seven months… So, why can’t I get more if I stay for one full season? That’s what my family told me. And I agreed they have a point.
“So, I will be with East Bengal. I haven’t spoken to the players yet. Let me speak to them first and then will decide on how to go about with the next season,” he said.
Meanwhile, East Bengal blasted the All India Football Federation for “imposing” the marquee player rule on the clubs. “AIFF is acting arbitrarily. The clubs are already facing fund crunch, and then we have to sign a marquee player. Where will the funds come from?” Majumdar questioned.