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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

Decision regarding East Bengal's next investor in 15 days, says Debabrata Sarkar

Basundhara Group leading the race, conglomerate waiting for Bangladesh PM's green signal at the moment

Souvik Mukherjee Calcutta Published 13.04.22, 06:39 PM
Debabrata Sarkar (L) and Kalyan Majumder in the press conference

Debabrata Sarkar (L) and Kalyan Majumder in the press conference Twitter

East Bengal is confident of taking part in the next season of the Indian Super League (ISL) with club officials claiming talks are on with a number of prospective investors and that an announcement on the future benefactor was expected in a fortnight.

Bangladesh's Basundhara Group, a corporate conglomerate, is leading the race to be the club's investor next season, revealed East Bengal official Debabrata Sarkar on Wednesday, a day after Shree Cements handed over East Bengal's sporting rights to the club since it had terminated its sponsorship arrangement.

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"Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called me on February 17 and said that Shree Cements wanted to hand the sporting rights back to us. So we were mentally prepared for the letter. We have accepted the letter and it has been sent to our lawyer. We are thankful to Shree Cements for their contribution towards the club. Now is the time to look forward," Debabrata told media at a press conference held at the club tent on Wdnesday.

The club official claimed that the process to identify and sign players for the next season are already underway with the help of former players. "We have asked our ex-players to come up with suggestions regarding the recruitment. They have sent us a list of players from I-League. They'll also be present at Santosh Trophy venues to scout players," he said.

Asked if they'll face problems playing in the ISL after the de-merger, Debabrata claimed, "We'll definitely play in ISL. Not only us, Mohammedan Sporting too will play in the ISL in the coming days. Other than ISL, we'll look to play in all tournaments possible. We'll prepare four different teams if the need arises."

When asked about the next investor, Debabrata said, "We have held preliminary discussions with the Basundhara group. Basundhara is currently in talks with the Bangladesh Prime Minister. Once they receive a green signal from their government, talks between us will advance. We are confident of announcing our decision in the next 15 days or so.

However, Debabrata explained that going forward, they will only be willing to hand over their football rights to their next investor and not sporting rights as was done previously. East Bengal faithfuls can once again hope for the club to return to its glorious days after a dismal couple of years in ISL, according to Debabrata.

"We'll bring East Bengal back to where it belongs in a couple of years," Debabrata signed off.

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