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'Final agreement not needed for team-building' - East Bengal's Debabrata Sarkar responds as Shree Cement deadlock continues

9:31 PM IST 25/05/21
Danny Fox, Anthony Pilkington, Jacques Maghoma Odisha vs East Bengal
East Bengal president Dr. Pranab Dasgupta wants to meet Shree Cement managing director Hari Mohan Bangur in person...

East Bengal club officials, on Tuesday, have responded to investors Shree Cement regarding signing of the final agreement between the club and the investors, an issue that has been dragging on for quite a while now. 

The club's senior legacy official Debabrata Sarkar mentioned that East Bengal president Dr. Pranab Dasgupta has himself written to Shree Cement Limited's managing director Hari Mohan Bangur and have requested an appointment for a personal meeting to sort out the deadlock between the two parties.

What did Debabrata Sarkar say?

"We had sent our response on October 17, 2020. I don't how that was not communicated to the higher management. In that letter, we had pointed the differences in the term sheet and the final agreement. In today's letter, we have attached the previous response so that no questions can be raised.

"The club president has personally written a letter to Hari Mohan Bangur where he has stated that he is surprised by the media reports which have claimed that East Bengal will not participate in the ISL 2020-21 season. He has mentioned that he is ready to meet HM Bangur whenever he wants. 

"Several media reports have claimed that the new management will not build the team for the upcoming season. But we do not believe that the management will take such a big decision. They have the football rights and nowhere in the term sheet is it written that the new management cannot build the team without the final agreement. Last season too, the team-building process went ahead on the basis of the term sheet. So we believe that the team-building process will happen in its due course," Sarkar told Goal.

It must be noted that Sarkar was referencing comments made by Shree Cement Managing Director, Bangur, who had earlier told Goal that club preparations might be affected if the club officials do not sign the final agreement ratifying the transfer of sporting rights to Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation (the company that oversees the club operations now). 

What is going on in East Bengal?

After Quess Corp parted ways with East Bengal in June 2020 after being the club's investor for two seasons, Shree Cement came on board as their new investors which facilitated the club's move to the Indian Super League (ISL).

They then proceeded to establish a joint venture named Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation, in which the cement giants held 76 per cent stakes while the club had 24.

After Shree Cement's arrival, a term sheet was signed by both parties in September 2020 in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had played an important role in bringing the company on board as the club's new investor.

On the basis of the term sheet, the club’s sporting rights as well all its assets and properties (including intellectual) were reportedly transferred to the newly formed joint venture between the two parties.

Even though the term sheet has been signed, a final binding agreement of the deal is yet to signed by the legacy officials despite multiple reminders.

The club officials claim that certain points in the final agreement are different from the term sheet that the parties had signed. The new management, on the other hand, claims that there are no discrepancies in the final binding agreement. They has also asked the officials to come out in open and clarify the points which they feel are different from those mentioned in the term sheet.

What happens next?

While the officials of the club are yet to confirm when they will put pen to paper on the final agreement and have requested the new management to go ahead with the team-building process for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) 2020/21 season, sources close to the management have told Goal that no further expenses will beared unless the final agreement is signed. 

Now it remains to be seen if a meeting is arranged between the two parties in order to achieve an amicable solution to the ongoing deadlock.

Further reading

HM Bangur losing patience over delay of signature on final agreement

Bangur displeased with club vs investor deadlock

What are the demands of East Bengal officials?