The football secretary of East Bengal took social media to point out the exact demands of the club officials from their investors…
East Bengal’s Football Secretary Saikat Ganguly took to social media to state four demands of the club officials from their investors Shree Cement Limited to explain why they have delayed signing the proposed final agreement of the joint venture.
The Red and Golds had entered into a joint venture with Shree Cement Limited in September 2020. They had signed the term sheet under which they were obliged to transfer the club’s sporting rights as well all its assets and properties (including intellectual) to the newly formed company Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation where the investors hold 76 per cent stake.
But now the officials are yet to sign the final agreement as they feel that certain clauses in the agreement allegedly differ from what was there in the term sheet.
What are East Bengal officials’ four demands?
1. The club officials want their area of operation, which is inside the club tent to be preserved and separate areas of functioning for the office bearers and the company (Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation) to be demarcated inside the club premise.
2. The officials want the club members’ right to be protected and kept unchanged.
3. They want clarity on the club’s sporting future and ensure that it remains unaffected if and when the investors want to exit from the joint venture.
4. The officials also want to know why the investors are demanding more than just football rights of the club unlike the investors of their rival club ATK Mohun Bagan where Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG-Group have only taken the football right of the Green and Maroons during their merger.
On Thursday, the football secretary jotted down all of their demands on his social media space through a post which read, “The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something our hearts know is a lie”- these words seem almost prophetic when one looks at the current situation involving East Bengal Club vis-a-vis its investors. An attempt has been at play to deliberately confuse the minds of the clubs’ supporters to such an extent that many seem to be making an effort to convince their heads which their heart knows is a lie.
“Are we asking ourselves, why would the officials who fought so desperately to bring in the investors try and get rid of them? The club wants to collaborate equitably with the investors and are only trying to ensure the following.
“One, its place of operation (offices) be preserved and it has made it very clear that specific areas be demarcated for the company and the club to co-locate. Second, it wants its member’s rights of access to the club be protected. Thirdly, it wants to ensure that the clubs’ future more specifically its sporting future is protected in case of an exit by the investors. Fourthly, it wants to understand why the investors in this case are demanding much more than what has been given in case of the other big club of Kolkata.
“In a democratic country with a democratic legal set up is this in any way a big ask? As a democratic institution, is the institution in any way wrong in demanding its rights in a structure governed by the legal structure of the land which are all based on the premise of fairness and equity.
“Is there anything wrong if the club is trying to protect its interests and negotiating with its investors for the same? The last time around the club was under a huge pressure to sign the termination agreement with its earlier investor and the same set of people who were pressurising the club to sign the termination have now come back and opined that the termination was signed hastily and without protecting the clubs’ interests.
“Our investors are very honourable men and run by one of the largest business setups in the country. We know in our hearts that they care deeply about the club and its aspirations and we are sure that they would also want to take forward the journey that has just started.
“The reason why I started with a quote on confusion is that that is exactly what certain vested interests want to create and are hell bent on mischief. They would want to fill our heads with things which our hearts know are lies. We are sure that we will overcome this uncertainty very soon and get back to doing what we do best i.e. play football- till then let’s keep the spirits up and stay united. Joy East Bengal!”
On Wednesday, the investors had sent an ultimatum letter to the club officials to clarify their stance on the signing of the final agreement. While no deadline was issued, they demanded an answer as soon as possible so that they can finalise their final stance on whether to continue their association as investors of the club.