Debarata Sarkar is an executive committee member of the East Bengal Club. That’s his official designation. But everything connected to red-and-golds runs under his authority. From player recruitment to sponsorship, Sarkar is the de-facto head and is considered to be indispensable by the whole hierarchy, including club secretary Kalyan Majumder.
Even after his arrest on Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the Saradha chit fund scam, the secretary stood by him, vowing to give Sarkar full legal support.
But the opposition group at the club has decided to challenge the ruling faction and will demand Sarkar’s ouster.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There must be something, else the CBI wouldn’t have arrested him. So Sarkar must be removed from his post with immediate effect,” East Bengal Club’s former tennis secretary, a member of the opposition group, Tapas Majumder told The Indian Express.
“The club’s reputation has already been damaged severely…This is an unbearable shame. We’ve so many fans all over the world and they must be feeling the pain. The club’s image has taken a severe beating and the management can’t afford to sit silent. We will decide very soon about submitting a letter to the club secretary in this matter,” he added.
Club’s former football secretary Suprakash Gargari, however, feels East Bengal shouldn’t suffer.
“There should be a demarcation between club and individual. This is Sarkar’s problem, not East Bengal’s problem.”
Kalyan Majumder expectedly stood by his colleague and reminded the opposition that the right procedure is to act as per club constitution. “One is innocent until proven guilty. Sarkar will get our full legal support,” he said.
“The club stands by him and will give him full legal support. As far as the club’s reputation is concerned, East Bengal is too big an organisation to be affected by trifles,” East Bengal Club general secretary Kalyan Majumder told The Indian Express.
Indian Football Association president Subrata Dutta, who’s also a vice-president of the national soccer body, said: “This is unfortunate (from football’s point of view). I hope time will prove he’s not guilty. One is innocent until proven guilty and we shouldn’t jump the gun. If he’s proven guilty he will get what he deserves as per law. But it’s too early to say if the whole episode has damaged the club’s reputation.”