Monday, 30th October 2017

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Mohun Bagan hand and bonus for players

While East Bengal, and most other I-League clubs, have 11-month contracts, Bagan ink 10-month deals

By Arindam Bandyopadhyay in Calcutta
  • Published 29.04.20, 3:54 AM
  • Updated 29.04.20, 3:54 AM
  • 2 mins read
Baba Diawara Telegraph picture

At a time when Quess East Bengal players are upset after their contracts were abruptly terminated by invoking the force majeure clause, their counterparts at Maidan neighbours and arch-rivals Mohun Bagan have no such worries.

Why? One big reason is the difference between the contract systems at the two clubs. While East Bengal, and most other I-League clubs, have 11-month contracts, Bagan ink 10-month deals with their players and support staff.

So while Quess, the outgoing investors of East Bengal, decided to terminate the players’ contracts — which ran till May 31, 2020 — with effect from May 1 citing the coronavirus pandemic, there was no such need for Bagan, whose players are contracted only till April 30, 2020.

It’s another story though that Bagan had played their last match on March 10 and the club could also have invoked the force majeure clause and not paid salaries for April. They chose not to.

But why do Bagan have a month less in their contracts?

“See, it’s not that we pay our players any less than the other clubs. Right at the beginning of the season, we consult players on their monthly remuneration and then accordingly we finalise the 10-month contract. So basically, we give the total amount in 10 instalments while the other clubs pay it in 11 instalments,” Bagan’s finance secretary Debasish Dutta explained when contacted by The Telegraph.

“It is not only about this season, which has been paralysed by the Covid-19 outbreak… We have been following this practice for years. There are some benefits of this method, as logistically we save some money, which we can use for other purposes,” he added.

What if the players’ services are needed beyond April 30? “In such a scenario, we go for a 15-day or one-month contract with the players. We have to be practical,” Dutta said.

The Bagan players are happy with how the club is handling the situation. “The club officials have already communicated with us. Though we have contracts till the end of this month, they would continue to provide us with all the facilities till we are allowed to leave India for our respective countries. It is a very nice gesture from the club,” Senegalese Baba Diawara, who scored the all-important goal against Aizawl FC on March 10 to secure Bagan’s I-League crown, said on Tuesday.

Bagan are also committed to give the players bonuses for their I-League success. “Once we get the prize money from the All India Football Federation, a portion of that would be distributed among the players and support staff,” Dutta said.

Bagan had a bigger budget this time as they recruited most of their foreign players from the beginning of the season. But it seems they have managed their purse pretty well.