Former East Bengal players met at the East Bengal club tent on Monday afternoon to discuss the ongoing tussle between the club and their investor Shree Cement regarding the signing of the final agreement of a joint venture between the two parties.
After the meeting, the ex-players unanimously released a statement that read, "During the club's difficult time, we the former players of East Bengal met today at the club premise. We are all aware of the ongoing problem between the club and their investor and how that has cast doubt over the participation of the club in ISL and other important tournaments.
"After going through the proposed final agreement we have concluded that the club officials should have been more careful while signing the initial term sheet because this is a one-sided contract. In any agreement, both parties should have equal rights when it comes to exiting the joint-venture that is not there in the agreement. Also, a few more clauses go against a century-old club like East Bengal, like the right to the club ground and logo which will be transferred to the investor forever. This cannot be accepted.
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"We further opined that as per the initial term sheet, the sporting rights of the club is with Shree Cement and we urge them to build a strong team and start their preparation for the forthcoming ISL season eight. We hope that considering the sentiments of the ex-players, officials and the members and supporters of the club the issue will be resolved soon.
"In the proposed final agreement, several clauses are further complicated, and it is difficult for the club officials to accept them. We the former players of this club, request Mr Hari Mohan Bangur to resolve via discussion so that East Bengal can play again.
"Also, we would like to draw the kind attention of the respected Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee on this issue and will seek an appointment with her so that the issue gets resolved soon."
What is going on at 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 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.