Mohun Bagan on Friday appointed Karim Bencherifa as their new coach but the Moroccan will take over the reins only after November 17 as he has to a serve a one-month notice period with Salgaocar SC.
It is rumoured that Bencherifa has been offered $4,63,500 for a 19-month contract,though the Bagan officials and Bencherifa himself are tight-lipped on the issue. It is,however,safe to say that he will become the highest-paid coach in Indian football.
Also,Bencherifa has categorically told club officials that he wont tolerate any interference in football affairs. Beleaguered Bagan had to bite the bullet as they were struggling to appoint a coach after Santosh Kashyaps departure last week and had no better option than Bencherifa,who had earlier served a two-year stint with the club from 2008 to 2010.
Mridul Banerjee has been appointed the interim coach and will be in charge of the team till the Moroccan arrives. After that Banerjee will work as Bencherifas assistant. The same combination had helped the side win the Federation Cup and Super Cup in the 2008-09 season.
It is Bencherifas ability to win big tournaments,despite frequently changing clubs,that has prompted us to appoint him as our next coach. Besides,he knows the club well and has the support of the players, said the clubs finance secretary Debashis Dutta.
Bagan have won nothing so far this season,making an early exit from the Federation Cup and losing their first two matches of the I-League. The fans,however,believe that the new coach will be able to change the clubs fortunes.