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East Bengal should be based on FC Barcelona model - Ranjit Bajaj

East Bengal should be based on FC Barcelona model - Ranjit Bajaj

Md Imtiaz

Published: 9 July 2020 8:14 AM GMT

Minerva Academy owner, Ranjit Bajaj, has shown interest in buying 70% of Quess East Bengal shares that are currently with the Bangalore based corporate body. Earlier, the Kolkata giants parted ways with Quess on June 1, but the sporting rights are still vested with the former entity - Quess East Bengal FC.

On Thursday Bajaj took to Twitter to point out his proposed idea that East Bengal could follow the FC Barcelona model where fans are the major shareholders.

He Tweeted:

The proposed model for @eastbengalfc is based on @FCBarcelona where fans are majority share holders & truly decide everything which happens in the club @ILeagueOfficial @IndSuperLeague @IndianFootball #fansrealstakeholders &world class academy structure which they deserve!

Speaking to The Bridge, Bajaj said, "The point is to have the fans as majority shareholders. My point is to have, 10 directors are going to be on the board, three should from the fans based clubs who the fans appoint as directors. Fans could always have their say in every board meeting of the club. The fans could also say that they are owners of small percentages of the club. In that way, it will be sure that no investors could ever come in and decide to tweak the club's identity. It is happening in Mohun Bagan, where investors have the say at large. We don't want to lose an iconic vlub like East Bengal with the desperation to be in the ISL."

Quess still holds more than 70% shares and are willing to sell them off before leaving the company and Bajaj has shown interest in buying the shares.

“I have been in talks with Quess bosses for the last couple of weeks. I am ready to pay the money and buy the 70 percent shares that Quess is holding at the moment,” said Ranjit Bajaj, as reported by News Click.

“As per the agreement between East Bengal and Quess, the club has the right of first refusal in case the investors decide to sell the shares to a third party. Quess is currently negotiating with East Bengal officials on several issues. I will have a chance to step in if East Bengal and Quess fail to agree. Till then, I am waiting on the sidelines,” added the Minerva Punjab academy owner.

Bajaj also proposed an academy structure of the club. He told The Bridge, "I proposed to make an academy structure of the club, where fifty per cent of the players could play in the first team. If it happens, then East Bengal would be profit-making machinery."

Ranjit Bajaj was also the owner of Minerva Punjab FC, which won the 2017-18 I-League but recently sold the club to RoundGlass Sports club. As per reports, out of the total 14,78,571 shares of QEBFC, the investors hold 10,35,000 with them, while East Bengal has secured 443,571. If Ranjit Bajaj manages to pull off the coup, he will be entitled to all the shares held by Quess Corp.

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