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ISL: SC East Bengal — What's in a name?

ISL: SC East Bengal — Whats in a name?

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 17 Oct 2020 6:07 AM GMT

Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation (SCEBF) has confirmed that the Red and Golds will play under the moniker SC East Bengal when they take the field in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season.

“The club’s new logo retains the primary assets like the emblem of a flaming torch and its colours which showcases a merger between the rich legacy of East Bengal, its contribution to Indian football along with Shree Cement’s support to keep the flag flying high,” Mr. H.M. Bangur, Managing Director, Shree Cement said in a press statement released by the new ISL entrants.

“It’s a start of the new and exciting partnership for all of us with East Bengal, and we’re happy to share the evolution of the club’s logo. Our crest and brand identity has been a bold one, and I am sure that this will only take the legacy of the club forward,” he added.


The industrialist, who has previously stressed upon his company’s growing interest in sports in India after their acquisition of the century-old football club which paved the way for East Bengal's entry into the ISL, had earlier mentioned that the prefix 'SC' has been kept open to interpretation based on what fans want to call the team.

Corporate investors cannot be a part of a team’s official name played a role in the nomenclature, and so, fans are free to address the team as Sporting Club East Bengal, Shree Cement East Bengal or whatever else they deem fit. After much deliberation, the investor group had decided to go with SCEB as the official name of the footballing face of the enterprise. The club has already re-registered itself as Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation under the Indian Football Association (IFA).

The name SC East Bengal, without any definite full-form for the abbreviation, may sound weird for the layman or even funny if your allegiance lies with the Green and Maroon side of Kolkata Maidan, but it isn’t the first time that something like this is happening.


Most European football fans would know of RB Leipzig, the German club owned by energy drink company Red Bull. Curiously, the RB in their case stands for RasenBallsport (German for Lawn Ball Sport) and not Red Bull, since the German league also does not allow corporate sponsors to be a part of a club’s name. Although this might seem as a neat little trick on the owner’s part in order to work around the rules, no one can disagree that this does fulfil two different objectives

i) it allows the team to be named according to the rules of the league, and

ii) it helps the company’s identity to be recognized by people watching the team play

In this context, it has to be remembered that despite all their on-field exploits, RB Leipzig are still considered to be an artificial construct in German football, a soulless entity whose identity has been embellished using modern-day marketing since their purchase by Red Bull in 2009.


However, this is not the case for East Bengal. This is a 100-year-old club we are talking about, that has a rich cultural and political history attached to it and is a source of happiness and inspiration for millions of fans, Bengali or otherwise, all over the world.

The fact that it has managed to receive corporate backing in a troubled economic atmosphere and will be competing in the country’s top footballing division is something that should be celebrated by all football fans, just like ATK and Mohun Bagan’s merger should be viewed as a great move that should reinvigorate football in Kolkata and West Bengal.

Light bantering aside, both of these developments are indicative of the corporate structure that Kolkata football has to get comfortable with from hereon, something that the legacy clubs have been extremely averse to in the past.

Hence, the ambiguity over the name notwithstanding, East Bengal fans should be hopeful of a fresh start in a new league as the club goes about trying to get their house in order before the start of the ISL season on 21st November.

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