The deal shall inject the much needed finance ahead of the new season as the club prepares itself for the Federation Cup and the I-League.
“Prayag Group shall be our title sponsor for the next six years and we will be renamed as Prayag United starting next season. Once we ink the deal, we shall intimate about the same to the AIFF and the state association of Bengal,” said Siddhartha Bhattacharya, sporting director of United SC.
“We are happy that there are companies and individuals who are interested in sponsorship in Indian football,” he added.
One of the major issues with United SC had with Chirag was that the latter wanted to interfere in the day-to-day activities of the club which the former wasn’t too keen on.
To avoid the same with Prayag Group, they have formed a core committee of six individuals who shall decide on every decision the club has to pass.
“There will be three members from United SC and three from Prayag Group in the committee. If we intend to get some more sponsors, we shall pass it through the committee,” he informed.
Prayag Group is a company based in Kolkata who have investments in the field of Real Estate, hotels, IT, Biotechnology and Films.
Mr Avik Bagchi, Managing Director of Prayag Group and newly appointed Football Secretary of Prayag United said, “We have taken the rights to sponsor the team for a minimum of six years. we have come with a long term plan to make it one of the successful teams in Bengal. We shall not compromise in any areas.”
Apart from sponsoring the senior team the club shall also take active steps to set up Youth Academies. Mr Bagchi mentioned, “We have acquired some lands in Assam and Jangalmahal in North Bengal where we shall set up Academies of Prayag United.”
The club has already acquired the services of Yusif Yakubu from Salgaocar SC, Bello Rassaq from Viva Kerala and has managed to retain Josimar and Lalkamal Bhowmick from what was previously known as Chirag United.
Sanjoy Sen, the former assistant to Colin Toal with the India U-19 team, has been named as the head coach of the side after having spent a season with Chirag United under the tutelage of Subrata Bhattacharya.
“We shall finalize the Asian player in the next 48-to-72 hours,” he said.
Bhattacharya indicated that though the sponsorship has come in, their finances wouldn’t be as big as that of Mohun Bagan or an East Bengal.
“The sponsors have assured that we shall have a good team and our finances will not as huge as that of the Big Two but it shall be close to it I can assure,” he mentioned.
The club had plans to move out of Kolkata to North Bengal and base their team from Siliguri. Bhattacharya is optimistic of the same but believes that it will actualize by the 2012-13 season.
“We do plan to go to Siliguri but we shall keep that for the next season. Prayag Group are also interested in the Siliguri Project.
“We have been training at the Salt Lake Municipal ground for now in Kolkata,” said Bhattacharya.
The sponsors are likely to have the first right of refusal to renew after the expiry of the contract which shall run for a period of six years.
What’s the target that the club has now set for itself for the 2011-12 season?
“We are aiming for a top six finish,” he signed off.
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