Tough times have fallen on Southern Samity, the I-League 2nd division team based out of Kolkata. A very high rate of player attrition and lack of new signings have pointed the finger to a weak financial clout as the premier cause.
In an interview to The Telegraph, Madan Mitra, President of the club, sounded feckless and resigned to fate. He solely blamed negligence from the corporate sector, who throughout displayed a distinct lack of interest, which has forced them to swallow a bitter pill and shut down the club.
“We don’t have enough resources to continue… We have tried our best to rope in sponsors. We are still trying, but our request has fallen on deaf ears so far,” bemoaned Mitra.
Unfortunately this is not an isolated case. I-League heavy weights like East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and United SC have also been distressed by the financial impediments. The plight of East Bengal and Bagan are especially severe with both having to cut their allocated budgets, Bagan in particular having to cull parts of their squad. United SC are still on the lookout for sponsors.
It is important to note here that Southern Samity were not able to lasso in sponsors even with the Minister for Sports in the Bengal ministry as their President. Such is the pastiche.
“The corporate bodies are not showing any interest in local football and it is really sad and unfortunate… I am really disappointed… I feel sorry that despite being a sports minister, I am unable to get a sponsor for the club. Due to my failure, I had tendered my resignation a few days back. But the members didn’t accept it,” lamented Mitra.
Disbanding the club could result in the Calcutta Football League (CFL) losing a fair team. Elucidating on the comments, IFA General Secretary Utpal Ganguli had this to say: “We hope that Southern Samity will not withdraw their team and will somehow find a sponsor.”