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'We will participate in ISL' - Shree Cement officials confirm East Bengal's participation in ISL season 8

4:19 PM IST 25/08/21
Scott Neville, East Bengal vs Kerala Blasters
The deadlock between Shree Cement and East Bengal finally ends as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mediate...

East Bengal officials have announced on Wednesday that they are ready to sign the final agreement of their joint venture with investor Shree Cement.

The announcement was made after the two parties came face-to-face at the West Bengal secretariat building in front of the honourable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee.

The decision was made after the Chief Minister mediated and met the two parties to solve the deadlock which has been ongoing since October 2020.

With the agreement signed, the joint venture of Shree Cement and East Bengal is now legitimised. It also means that the investor will now finally be able to focus on team building and complete other formalities which are needed to make East Bengal play in the Indian Super League (ISL) season eight.

What did Shree Cement and East Bengal officials say?

"We want to play. There were some differences so we could not sign the agreement. But since you (Mamata Banerjee) have requested, we have decided that we will participate in ISL," said Shree Cement's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Subash Jajoo.

Speaking on the development, East Bengal senior official Debabrata Sarkar said, "Mamata Banerjee has helped us (East Bengal) to play in ISL this season. I also thank Sree Cement for their co-operation."

What happened between East Bengal and Shree Cement and how did the matter get resolved?

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 investor 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.

Based on 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 was signed, the final binding agreement of the deal is yet to be signed by the officials despite multiple reminders.

Shree Cement had already sent a revised version of the final agreement to the club as well as to the West Bengal Chief Minister on August 16 but the officials did not agree to sign.  After multiple reminders, the investors informed the state Chief Minister about their inclination to end the deal on August 23.

Although the company informed the Chief Minister about their decision, they did not send an official letter to the club. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee then called upon both parties to mediate and on Wednesday it was officially announced that the differences have been resolved and the club will participate in ISL season 8.