United SC Director Nabab Bhattacharya has revealed that due to the problems that primary sponsor Prayag Group is facing because of the chit fund going bust, the budget for the club might not be as grand as last season. He however dispelled any fears of the sponsors backing out from their deal with the club.
“Prayag is not just a chit fund but also a product based company. Now because of the (Saradha chit fund) scam, people are looking to go to the company and asking for all their money together. If tomorrow State Bank of India depositers say that we want our money, then how will the bank cope?,” Nabab Bhattacharya told Goal.com
“However we have had discussions with them over the last week, it has been positive, though the budget might be reduced but it will still be a good team,” he further added.
While there have been talks that the salaries of a few players has been long over-due, the club official was quick to snuff out such rumours in the bud. He commented, “No salaries have been held back. One month salary is delayed but they will get everything. There is no problem with the salaries of the players.”
The Kolkatan outfit had lit up the transfer window last summer, with several crore plus deals. This time though, they intend to go easy in the market, as Bhattacharya revealed, “We have been talking to players but most of our players have got contract for two years. So we are going slowly, especially since the budget is not decided.”
"Eelco Schattorie will continue for one more season, as we have retained him,” he continued, confirming that the Dutch coach would stay on for one more season.
The club official also refused to confirm or deny whether they were close to signing Subhashish Roychowdhury and Debabrata Roy, though he hinted that the two Dempo players and Prayag may have had early negotiations.
“Roychowdhury and Debabrata having signed with us are rumours. I have got good relations with them and if I will make a good team I will approach many players. But only the names of Roychowdhury and Debabrata come often. I am not only talking to a couple of players but many others, and of course I am talking to them.”
Of course that would raise further questions regarding Subrata Paul, who had a difficult season with the Kolkata side, and is set to be out of contract at the end of this season.
Nabab Bhattacharya though, stressed that the future of Subrata, as well as that of gifted playmaker Lester Fernandes, who has hardly featured this season for the team, was very much in their hands as neither of the two Pune FC players managed to establish them in the side.
“Subrata had a one year contract so he is now a free agent and he will decide whether to stay or go. Lester has a two year deal and we will have to speak to the coach about him. I had purchased him from Pune FC. If other clubs are looking for him, they will have to come to the club and buy him off us.”
The Prayag official also revealed that the club would keep hold of Bello Rasaq and Ranti Martins for next season. He mentioned, “We are keeping Ranti and Bello, I have spoken to them about it. Rest will depend on the budget. I have not decided on Carlos Hernandez, as he has signed a deal with Wellington Phoenix and there is a legal problem regarding that, if he wants to stay. But he will have to decide. If he doesn’t stay we have other options.”
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