Biswajit Bhattacharya, who had resigned as manager of East Bengal after their 3-1 defeat against Bengaluru FC on Sunday, has explained the reason behind his decision. He has opened up on how some of the players and support staff have been leaking sensitive dressing room information to the media.
"I can't still understand why some members of the team stabbed me in the back. I still can't understand why a couple of faces, who were part of my supporting staff along with one or two footballers, were so enthusiastic to spoil my relationship with the players after we won the Calcutta Football League (CFL).
"There were a few faces in the dressing-room who would leak all our discussions to the media. Believe me, I tried hard but couldn't stop them. That's why I have taken this decision to step down. Being a coach for 15-to-16 years now, I know when a coach should take the responsibility and leave his post. The club didn't force me to resign. I am leaving on my own," Biswajit Bhattacharya wrote in his column for the Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika.
He also questioned how his discussions with Bernard Mendy were revealed to the media, which fuelled speculations about unrest in the dressing room.
"I had told the officials to bring me a positive striker. We searched a lot but ultimately we chose Bernard Mendy. The officials told me he is a utility player. I also agreed to the idea and I will never say the club recruited Mendy without my consent. But we didn't get the chance to make him fit between the I-League matches and he couldn't perform as per expectations.
"But that was a part of it. How were my conversations with Mendy inside a closed dressing-room being leaked to the media everyday? Even before the Bengaluru FC match, the secret discussions made their way to the public. Arguments and emotions reign every dressing room but where else are they fed to the media?
"Let me be very precise and tell you that all this was done to break the determination of the team. If a player can't play well, you have to leave him out. That's the rule of the game. However, the players that I had excluded were being used by them to stain my image. I spoke to Mendy in the presence of a senior official and I was very surprised to know that words that I had never used about him were told to him to tarnish our relationship.
"Did I not tell these to the officials? Yes, I did. They also tried to stop it. They didn't send some big names with the team in the away matches. But still they couldn't stop the outflow of news," he wrote.
He also hinted at a much bigger problem inside the Kolkata-based club. He said, "Since I have played in East Bengal before, I know the environment was never so bad in the club. It makes me sad how polluted the ambience inside the club has become. However, I will like to stress that whatever I have told is only the tip of the iceberg. If I write about everything, a fight will break out inside the club. I don't want that. Good wishes for East Bengal”.