The Football Players Association of India (FPAI) on Friday sent letters to All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Indian Super League (ISL) organisers asking them to consider including East Bengal in this season's ISL, something which will not cut much ice.
There has been a lot of hue and cry ever since it came to light that FSDL, during a meeting with club representatives, made it clear that they would stick to 10 teams for the upcoming season starting in November.
According to well-placed sources in the AIFF, these 'tactics' are not going to bear any fruit as East Bengal cannot be included in the top tier league of the country without following the roadmap set by Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
"As per AFC roadmap, any I-League team must bid and fulfill all ISL participating criteria including financial criteria to be considered for participation," the source told IANS.
"Mohun Bagan have fulfilled the AFC guidelines. It will be very unfair to them if others are allowed without fulfilling conditions," the source added.
Mohun Bagan's footballing rights was recently acquired by the RP Sanjiv Goenka group which holds a majority stake of 80 per cent. The new entity is called ATK Mohun Bagan FC and will take part in the ISL from this season.
"Fact is when East Bengal were presented with many opportunities in the past two years, they denied any discussion. Now what's the point of such efforts? These are just to keep the fans happy," another official said.
East Bengal are currently without any sponsors after their former investors Quess Corp, who had a 70 percent stake in the club, terminated their tie-up on May 31 despite having a three-year deal.
The Bengaluru-based company terminated the agreement on July 17 and gave back sporting rights albeit after a lot of dilly-dallying.
Meanwhile, several East Bengal players will knock the AIFF Players' Status Committee door asking for their due salaries which have remained unpaid by the club's former investors.
On April 25, Quess had activated the Force Majeure clause to unilaterally terminate all the contracts with effect from May 1.
The players, among whom some who had multi-year contracts with the club and others who have their one month salary pending, have already sent notice to Quess East Bengal, with whom they had contracts.
The players will now go to the AIFF Players' Status Committee through their representative, FPAI.
"Players need more football clubs to play for and earn their livelihood. As such, players and clubs go hand in hand, and both are necessary for the survival of the game. Hence, we need to support clubs too, as and when we deem necessary," FPAI said in its letter signed by their General Manager Cyrus Confectioner.
"In this, we the association sincerely urge you, to include the East Bengal Club, Kolkata, into the ISL, without any hesitation or delay," the letter added.