Mohun Bagan president Swapan Sadhan Bose has explained that the Kolkata-based I-League club's entry into the Indian Super League (ISL) is dependent on sponsorship deals.
Speaking after the club's annual general meeting convened on Saturday evening, Bose clarified, "This year East Bengal will play ISL. We have been also asked whether we want to play ISL or not. They have also given us the green signal that we can play from Kolkata. A 10-year agreement (worth) 40 crores per year is needed with the sponsor. Only then we can play ISL.
"If East Bengal plays ISL then we must ensure how can Mohun Bagan also play ISL. We must not fight amongst ourselves rather strive for the betterment of the club."
Club secretary Anjan Mitra added that the club will have to meet the demand of the sponsors and hand over a portion of the shares. "We must meet the demand of the sponsors. The sponsors will demand some portion of the shares and we have to hand it over to them. But the rest of the shares will be distributed among the members."
He further added, "We are converting the club from private limited to public limited for the greater good of the club. We have been trying for 10 years to make it a private limited company but later we found that if we cannot involve the members then we are on the wrong path.
"It will take time but let us start in our endeavours from this day. The sponsors might want shares. If the sponsors are good we are willing to increase share price and then allot shares. To ensure the smooth running of the club we must turn it into a public limited company."
Speaking exclusively to Goal, Mariners' football secretary Swapan Banerjee revealed that the club is in talks with sponsors and expects a deal to be announced soon. " Tutu Bose and Anjan Mitra have taken responsibility of the club. I will talk to both of them and take a decision (about playing in ISL). The matter will be raised to the executive committee.
"We are in talks with some sponsors. There are some minor problems that are preventing us from announcing the deal. But since Tutu (Swapan Sadhan Bose) and Anjan (Anjan Mitra) have come together, I am hopeful that there will soon be a solution."