Monday, 30th October 2017

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House trouble for East Bengal players

Till the termination of the agreement between Quess and the club, it’s very unlikely anybody would speak: an official

By Angshuman Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 19.05.20, 4:49 AM
  • Updated 19.05.20, 4:49 AM
  • 2 mins read
East Bengal players during practice File picture

East Bengal players and one member of the coaching staff who were staying at accommodations provided by club investors Quess have been told to vacate their flats, sources told The Telegraph on Monday.

While most of the players and members of the coaching staff — Indians and foreigners — have left for their respective homes, a handful are stuck in Calcutta till at least May 31, when this phase of lockdown is scheduled to end.

The Telegraph is in possession of a WhatsApp message purportedly sent by Quess officials involved with East Bengal last week.

“As per notification from the owners of the residential accommodations in Rosedale, Uniworld and other residences, we will be handing over the apartments to the respective owners by 25th May, 2020. From 18th May 2020, we will start to clean, repair and sanitise all the vacated apartments. Those who have personal belongings lying in the apartments please try and collect it by 20th May, 2020. QEBFC (Quess East Bengal Football Club) will not be responsible for any loss of your personal belongings which are in your respective apartments,” says the message sent from a group called the “QEBFC admin team”, which has been communicating with the players and support staff of East Bengal.

One senior footballer, who did not wish to be named, said this is the worst thing that could have happened to these players since they will now have to search for alternative accommodation.

“They cannot treat the players like dirt. The footballers have decided not to vacate. When they tried to call the management asking for help, the calls went unanswered. The management is just ignoring messages and calls,” the footballer alleged on Monday. This footballer is not among those staying in Quess-provided accommodation.

The Telegraph could not contact any senior Quess official in spite of calls to their mobile phone numbers. “Till the termination of the agreement between Quess and East Bengal on May 31, it’s very unlikely anybody would speak,” an East Bengal official said.

In the last week of April, Quess East Bengal invoked the force majeure clause to terminate the contracts of the players and the coaching staff and said salary for the month of May would not be paid.

The senior footballer, who doesn’t have a multiple-year contract, also alleged that the investor is forcing “the players to sign the Mutual Termination Agreement (MTA).”

“They are claiming nineteen players/officials have signed. But it is not true. Yes some of the Spanish players, a prominent member of the coaching staff and a few junior players have either signed or have agreed to sign. But we will not. We will fight for our dues,” the footballer said.