After a week of uncertainty and delay in reaching an agreement over the finer points of their association, East Bengal and their investors Shree Cement Private Ltd have finally arrived at a solution following a further round of meetings on Tuesday. Lawyers from both camps are said to be working on incorporating a few details into the contract following which an announcement is expected from the club.
The club has already had its Indian Super League (ISL) entry bid accepted by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) last week and has registered itself as Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation under the governing body for the sport in West Bengal, Indian Football Association (IFA). According to the arrangement, the club has also transferred its sporting rights, assets and intellectual property to the investors. However, the club management were averse to the idea of relinquishing their control over the formation of the club committee and its members, something that the investors were adamant about. Shree Cement also wanted the final say over the admission of new committee members henceforth. This led to a feeling amongst club members that the investors might end up treating the club like a ‘non-performing asset’.
The impasse, which initially seemed to be a minor hurdle soon snowballed into a genuine threat towards East Bengal’s participation in the ISL with a number of meetings yielding no solution. Eventually, the club sought FSDL’s help in resolving the matter who came forward and brokered a deal between the two parties wherein it was decided that the investors would not interfere with the formation and running of the club committee and that the club management would have the final say over the appointment and dismissal of its members.
Reports emerging from Kolkata suggest that the new terms have been officially drafted and sent over to FSDL which they will then forward to the investors some time on Wednesday. Following this, the newly formed Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation is expected to make an announcement regarding the head coach position, as well as the foreign players whom they have reached an agreement with for the new season.