Indian Super League Club SC East Bengal has announced that they have suspended all social media activities until further notice amidst the rift with majority stakeholder Shree Cement continues.
— SC East Bengal (@sc_eastbengal) June 1, 2021
The club’s executive committee members refused to sign the final agreement of the joint venture between the two parties. The executive committee of the club met on Tuesday evening and discussed at length the differences between the initial term sheet and the final agreement as claimed by the club officials.
What is the rift?
After Quess Corp ended their association with East Bengal in July 2020, Shree Cement came on board as the club’s new investor. In September 2020, a term sheet was signed between the two parties after which Shree Cement was announced as the club’s investor in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
However, the club is alleging that certain terms in the final agreement are different from those mentioned in the term sheet they signed in September 2020. As a consequence of the possible change in terms, the club officials are refusing to sign the final binding agreement of the joint venture. Based on the term sheet, the club’s sporting rights and all its assets and properties (including intellectual) were reportedly transferred to the newly formed joint venture between the two parties. On the other hand, Shree Cement has maintained throughout that there is no such difference between the two agreements.
The majority of the East Bengal squad are now free players as their contracts with the club ended on May 31. Nine East Bengal players moved to the Player Status Committee (PSC) of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) complaining of non-payment of salary for the last few months. If the rift between club officials and Shree cement continues, then the club may not be able to participate in ISL 2021/22.