Shree Cement Pvt Ltd. have ended their five-year deal with East Bengal club prematurely, ending a stretched episode of conflict between the two parties. With the new season of the ISL less than three months away, it puts the club in jeopardy as far as the new team-building process is concerned.
Shree Cement took over 76% of East Bengal’s shares in the build-up to the last season of the Indian Super League, paving the historic club a dramatic entry into the cash-rich league. However, hasty decisions and lack of quality players in their ranks derailed their campaign after take-off, as the red and gold brigade finished at the ninth spot with just three wins to their name.
But, tension crept up as the new season approached, with Shree Cement not inclined to spend in the team-building process until the final agreement was signed by East Bengal. The club officials, on the other hand, were determined not to put pen on paper, as they felt the terms differed from the initial agreement.
Shree Cement had also sent a revised version of the final agreement to the club and the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on August 16, but the century-old club stood their ground. It was on Monday that the private organization decided to return the sporting rights back to the club and end their partnership on a bitter tone.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was pivotal in landing East Bengal a deal with Hari Mohun Bangur-owned Shree Cement, was gutted with the turn of events and event stated that the investors showed a very bad attitude by hanging the fate of the club for several months and then leaving them in the wilderness.
“It’s a very bad attitude, to keep the club’s fate hanging for several months and then pulling out at the last moment. We are very sad and annoyed. So what happened that things changed so suddenly, what is the mystery behind it?" said Mamata Banerjee, after the recent developments surfaced.
“We will also let them know that we are displeased with the situation and we will try to sort this out. Time is very short, let’s see. I urge everyone in the club management to come forward and deal with the crisis.”