Ajit Isaac, Chairman and Managing Director of Quess Corp Pvt. Ltd (investors of East Bengal) had recently held a meeting the General Secretary of All India Football Federation (AIFF) Kushal Das, Reliance Sports CEO Sundar Raman, and IMG-Reliance official Chirag Tanna in Bengaluru on Wednesday to discuss the possibilities of joining the cash-rich league.
The Kolkata giants and their investors Quess are eager to take part in the ISL which could possibly become the top tier of Indian football from next season. The ISL is likely invite requests for proposal to join the league after the ongoing season concludes on March 17.
Back in July speaking to Goal, Issac had heaped praise on the ISL and said, “ISL is an interesting format. It has got potential and has done well for itself in the last few years and it could be the premium platform if developed in the right manner and with the right input. It has the potential to become an outstanding league.”
He had further mentioned, “We want to give the best to our fans. We want to ensure they have an engagement with us that revolves around sporting activity and be a part of the winning culture the club wants to create. The ISL, if it happens, it happens. Otherwise, we want to build the club in any case."
If East Bengal pick up the document and signal the intention to join the ISL, there will be pressure on arch-rivals Mohun Bagan to do the same. It must be noted that Bagan's talks with ATK on a possible merger have still not come to fruition with talks stalling on issues like percentage of stakes and name of the new club.
East Bengal and Mohun Bagan playing in different leagues would not be an ideal scenario for football aficionados in Kolkata.