ISL 2021/22: East Bengal in turmoil ahead of new season

Sporting Club East Bengal might play in Indian Super League (ISL) because of the ongoing dispute between the club and investor Shree Cement. Shree Cement is an Indian cement manufacturer headquartered in Kolkata and an investor in the club. The cement company has sent a blunt message to the club officials that no further investment would be made until the final binding agreement is signed between both parties before the season begins.

Shree Cement decided to invest in the club in June 2020 and came on board as new investors for the club. The Red and Gold Brigade were making their way into ISL for the very first time and a term sheet was signed between both parties. A joint venture named Shree Cement East Bengal was formed where all commercial operations were officially established. The cement giants have 76% stakes and the remaining 24% stakes are owned by the club itself in the joint venture.

If the final agreement is signed then that would secure the entire transfer of sporting rights of the club. This process of transfer was an automatic process as a term sheet was signed between East Bengal and Shree Cement in presence of West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on September 1, 2020. Chief Minister provided enough financial support after the club appealed to the higher authorities that they have failed to gather a sponsor in order to play in ISL. Shree Cement came to the rescue and provided enough funds to the side to make their ISL debut.

According to The Telegraph, East Bengal club has not signed a final deal after agreeing on the sheet last year and Shree Cement has come out with an official statement regarding this issue to confirm their stance.

“We will not take any step forward unless the final agreement is signed. Unless the final agreement is signed no further investment would be done. We will make our stand clear to the ISL authorities soon,” 

This issue is heading towards further negotiations as a meeting is yet to take place between the concerned authorities which can break the ongoing deadlock but the message right now is loud and clear that no further investments- till the final agreement. Fans will be hoping that this dispute is solved as soon as possible. In their debut ISL season, East Bengal struggled as they finished ninth in the table with just three wins in 20 games.

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