While Bose's claims may come across as surprising, it has been learnt that East Bengal have been in talks with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their commercial partners IMG-Reliance to seek an entry into ISL either this year or the season after.
The Red and Golds have been struggling financially and their potential sponsors have demanded that the club participate in the ISL for them to strike a deal.
It is understood that during the time of the Intercontinental Cup, East Bengal approached the All India Football Federation (AIFF) regarding the confirmation of their ISL participation if they manage to strike a sponsorship deal and satisfy all the required financial criteria.
The club received a positive response from the country's football governing body who gave a green signal after allegedly consulting IMG-Reliance. It is believed that East Bengal have got a sponsor on board.
When asked about their potential ISL participation, East Bengal official Debabrata Sarkar said, "As of now, I do not have much to reveal to the press.
The details of the sponsor will be shared with AIFF President Praful Patel in the next 10 days or so. Thereafter Patel is expected to meet senior officials from IMG-Reliance in order to corroborate if the sponsor has enough bandwidth to support the club for the next 10 years.
If everything goes as expected, the bid document will be made public and if East Bengal successfully fulfils all criteria, there is a good chance they will be given an entry this year. If not, they will definitely get a chance next season.