East Bengal has found an investor, which also comes with the possibility of the team potentially being able to contest in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season.
Indianexpress.com had earlier reported how East Bengal had made steady headway in its hunt for a new investor. On Wednesday, a top official at the club revealed that the investor will be cement manufacturer Shree Cements. However, details of the deal weren’t disclosed.
“We are on our way to finalise the deal by today evening. So I would urge fans and everybody else to wait for the good news to arrive,” the official told indianexpress.com on condition of anonymity.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee then confirmed the team getting a new investor in a press conference at the state secretariat. The chief minister said that East Bengal has initiated all the formalities to participate in ISL.
“The problem has been solved. Now East Bengal will play in ISL,” she said.
“Mohun Bagan had entered ISL before but East Bengal were trying for some time amidst the pandemic and I am glad that it will finally happen now,” Banerjee added.
There were doubts over about East Bengal’s entry into the ISL after the Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) indicated the tournament would feature only 10 teams, and the Kolkata team wasn’t one of them.
At the time, the club’s executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar had asked fans to remain patient.
“See the doors are still open for us to play in this seasons’ ISL. Earlier we were 50 percent confident of playing in the ISL but now definitely there has been headway into negotiations for a potential sponsor and we are 80 percent sure now,” he had told indianexpress.com.
According to the club official, the West Bengal CM had played an important role in roping the new investor.
Kolkata-based company Shree Cement have obtained the majority stakes and the centenary old club will most likely pen the deal by 4th September and go for ISL.
If indeed East Bengal enters the ISL then for fans it means that the 130-year-old rivalry with ATK-Mohun Bagan continues and the beloved ‘boro match’ a.k.a. Kolkata derby’ will happen in the coming season.
About Shree Cements
The firm is one of the biggest cement makers in India. Benu Gopal Bangur is the Executive Chairman of the company that was founded in 1979 in Rajasthan and is presently headquartered in Kolkata. Bangur was ranked 19 among India’s richest in a Forbes list.