Excitement among the East Bengal fandom knows no bound at the moment as the century-old Kolkata club has picked up the bid for Indian Super League’s 11th team bid with its new investors Shree Cement Foundation.
While the efforts are on to form the new company of the Indian football giants with the investors — who will reportedly hold 76 per cent stake of the club — East Bengal’s executive member Debrata Sarkar said the decision was vital to safeguard club’s future in nation’s top football league.
“Things are being worked out by the investors at the moment as far as the new company formation is concerned. The new merger is yet to be formed, at the moment we have just picked the bidding paper together as Shree Cement Foundation and East Bengal. We will now have to slowly progress from here as major decisions won’t be taken overnight,” Sarkar told Indiatvnews.com from Kolkata.
In the past, club members’ relationship with its former owner QUESS — who backed out last season over its financial crisis, was often found to be in hot water — there is an air of positivity with the new bosses.
“We are feeling very positive about our new investors and in the future, the focus will be on working together to develop the club further. At the moment we can’t say how things will be with them. Selling or keeping a stake of the club are things that are of not priority at the moment. The main priority is to develop the club.
“We also have to understand that everyone’s help is needed; the one who brings in financial support, the one who brings technical awareness and the one who brings administration awareness as well,” he explained.
While the process of reinstalling the club to its past glory has caught pace with the merger, the official revealed that it took a lot of efforts to find the new investors after many potential owners backed out due to the COVID-19 situation, leaving the club’s future in dark.
“We were looking for investors for a while but pandemic situation delayed the process a lot. Many of the potential investors were approached and some of whom were positive also backed out and there’s no point in blaming them given the current situation,” Sarkar said.
He further revealed that the painstaking procedure also made them seek help from the West Bengal government.
“We also took a few of the potential investors to the West Bengal CM (Mamata Banerjee) and she opined that they won’t be able to handle a club of stature like East Bengal. So the CM also played a role in finding the investor,” he concluded.