It seems there is no end to the East Bengal vs Shree Cement saga as the investor now suggests that they are yet to receive clarity on the differences in the signed term sheet and the final binding document which the club officials claim to exist.
On Tuesday, East Bengal's football secretary and Executive Committee member Saikat Ganguly, had stated that the club has decided not to sign the final definitive document in its current state due to the differences in the final document from the term sheet that was signed in September 2020.
Now, a source close to the Shree Cement management has told Goal, that while they have received another letter from the club officials on Tuesday after the club's executive committee meeting, the officials did not specify the clauses that they claimed to be different.
The source also stated that the Shree Cement stance on the matter remains the same - that a dialogue can happen between the investor and the club only once the final binding agreement is signed.
What is going on in 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 investors 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 the rest.
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 has been signed, a final binding agreement of the deal is yet to signed by the officials.ISL
The club officials have remained firm on the claim that certain points in the final agreement are different from the term sheet that the parties had signed. The new management, on the other hand, claims otherwise.
Shree Cement managing Hari Mohan Bangur also mentioned in the past that no meeting with the officials will take until they put pen to paper.
Repercussions of the delay in signing the final agreement
The Indian transfer window opens on June 9 and while most of the clubs have started their team-building process, East Bengal at present are in no position to sign new players as Shree Cement has clearly stated in the past that they will not spend a penny until the agreement is signed.
The majority of the East Bengal squad are now free players as their contracts with the club ended on May 31. The players who are still under contract are Mohammed Rafique, Mohammed Rafique Ali Sardar, Wahengbam Angousana, Balwant Singh, Loken Meitei, Bikash Jairu, Anil Chawan, Girik Khosla, Novin Gurung and Pritam Singh.
It looks like the deadlock has certainyl hampered the team-building process of the club for the upcoming 2021/22 season.