Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj's tussle with Kolkata giants East Bengal seems to have no end.
In January, Bajaj sent an e-mail to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) alleging that several of his players were approached for match-fixing ahead of their I-League game against East Bengal. Goal later revealed the names of the seven players who were contacted by bookies on two separate occasions through various social media platforms. The case is currently being investigated by the AIFF.
This time Bajaj has accused the Red and Golds of not revealing the exact value of ex-Minerva goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar's contract. The owner of the I-League champions claims that they had a clause inserted in Dagar's contract which meant that if he wanted to sign for another club, the club would be entitled to 25 per cent of his next contract value.
Bajaj says East Bengal, for whom Dagar signed, claimed the contract value was only ₹10 Lakhs which meant he was entitled to ₹2.5 Lakhs. But he feels he has been cheated after finding out that the contract value was around ₹19 Lakhs.
"East Bengal have tried to cheat us by signing two contracts with Rakshit Dagar at the same date and same time. They have sent us a duplicate contract which shows that he has signed for ₹10 Lakhs. Whereas in the real one, we have found out that the amount is ₹19 Lakhs. We have already contacted them and told them that they need to pay us within a day or two.
"If they fail to do so, we are going to register a case of fraud and conspiracy against us (Minerva Punjab) along with the player. This is fraud on the part of Dagar and East Bengal. If we don't get the money within the stipulated time, we are going to take legal action," stated Bajaj to Goal.
Dagar had signed for East Bengal in May but the disparity in figures came to Minerva's notice on Thursday evening after East Bengal uploaded a copy of Dagar's contract to AIFF.
When Goal contacted East Bengal, the Kolkata giants refuted all such allegations.
"We don't have two agreements. He has signed for ₹19 Lakhs and ₹20 Lakhs for two seasons respectively. We have uploaded the same to AIFF as well. We did not make any contact with Minerva regarding Dagar," said a top official from the Red and Gold brigade.
Amidst this controversy, East Bengal will kick-start their Calcutta Football League (CFL) campaign from Friday where they will face Tollygunj Agragami at their home ground.