Pandemonium reigned supreme at the East Bengal tent on Friday morning, as supporters turned up at the club's training session on Friday morning to protest against their poor run of form and the functioning of the club
It was the first day of training after the club management sacked assistant coach Warren Hackett and goalkeeping coach Avijit Mondal to sound a warning to head coach Trevor Morgan after the Kolkata derby defeat last Sunday in Siliguri.
Before the club's practice session, supporters assembled at the venue raised slogans against the coach and some of the footballers. Chants of 'Go Back Morgan' and 'Go Back Rehenesh' filled the air as gaffer Trevor James Morgan and goalkeeper TP Rehenesh seemed to be the two main culprits in the eyes of the club faithful.
Things, though, took a violent turn, when Rehenesh showed his middle finger to the gathering which sparked a furore. On his way to the practice session, the former NorthEast United goalkeeper allegedly kicked a supporter, which caused a major fracas. Goal's attempt to reach the custodian has remained unsuccessful and this article will be updated as and when he replies to the messages.
This brought back memories of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who had also done a similar gesture towards the Red and Golds supporters at Kalyani after conceding a silly goal against United Sports Club three years ago.
The slogans continued even after the practice session, as long time members of the squad including the likes of Gurwinder Singh tried to cool down the raging fans. It, however, yielded no result as roads were blocked which meant Trevor Morgan had no way but to shove his way through. Once he made his way to the cab, supporters sat on the road to block its way while some of them allegedly spat on the car. Robin's Singh's car was also damaged as the supporters demanded a public apology from Rehenesh, who was inside the vehicle.
The officials had to face the ire as well with top official Debabrata Sarkar also being gheraoed. An effigy was also burnt in front of the club tent to protest against the incompetence of the club management. The protest, which started at 8:30 a.m. in the morning, continued for hours, and finally came to an end on 1:30 p.m. after police were called in to handle the situation.
East Bengal will be facing DSK Shivajians in a home match in a couple of days, where they will be missing the services of suspended striker Willis Plaza and injured midfielder Mehtab Hossain. With 27 points from 15 matches, the Kolkata giants have a very bleak chance to win their first I-League title.