At the start of the I-League season of 2012-13, Prayag United emerged as the financial powerhouse amongst all the teams in the country. The Kolkata based side assembled a team worth Rs 12.5 crore which included World Cupper Carlos Hernandez and Dempo goal machine Ranti Martins. In addition they had seasoned international players like Bello Rasaq and Gourmangi Moirangthem to provide some much needed steel to the squad.
This investment has seen them earn a maiden IFA Shield title and on course for a top-four finish in the I-League. However with the recent deposit collection controversy hitting West Bengal, team sponsors Prayag are stuck in a spot of bother which leaves the team unsure on whether it can retain any of their star players for next season.
It was rumoured only a few days ago that Mohammedan Sporting, who will compete in the I-League top flight next season, are on the market for Kayne Vincent and Ranti Martins is believed to be on the radar of many I-League clubs.
“Our future looks tense,” United SC team director Nabab Bhattacharya, said to The Telegraph on Sunday. “We’ve no idea about our team budget because of the present scenario.”
Breaking off ties with Prayag could be entertained as an option to keep the club going, but Nabab ruled it out.
“Right now situation is so volatile that we may not be able to rope in a sponsor. So what’s the point in severing ties with Prayag? Is there anyone whom we can go to as a replacement?” Bhattacharya asked.
The club has completed two of their five year contract with Prayag.
Football coordinator and former India international Krishnendu Roy blamed it on lack of funds.
“A fortnight ago, Prayag officials had assured United SC of adequate support regarding team budget. But after the Saradha controversy broke out, the company’s accounts were sealed. Now we can only hope for normalcy to return as early as possible,” Krishnendu said.
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