Bengaluru-based staffing and business services provider Quess Corporation has acquired a majority 70% stake in the East Bengal.
The 98-year old football club East Bengal and the investor Quess Corporation will form a new entity Quess East Bengal FC Pvt. Ltd. Quess Corp will control the majority 70% stake in the joint venture. The deal was inked late last week.
Under the new corporate structure East Bengal and Quess Corporation will have four directors each. However, the club management will have absolute control over the team operations.
Quess Corporation has attributed the investment to company’s strategy of putting money in long-term brand strategies. “We are excited by the possibility of contributing to the development of world’s No.1 sport, football, in India and at the same time to be invested in one of the best sports properties. Sports and business both produce winners when the partnerships are right and the investments are prudent,” Quess Corp Chairman & Managing Director had said about the tie-up.
“This investment in a 98-year-old iconic football club which is among the premium football clubs in India enables Quess to develop its brand.”
East Bengal have already invested in the Indian talent worth ₹10 crore for the new season. With the new deal ensuring the desired fund flow, the club will not look for international signings.
“The association with Quess is promising and brings a refreshing change for the club and its members and fans with many untapped possibilities. We believe our best is yet to come and we now aim to achieve new landmarks in the game of football,” East Bengal managing director Kalyan Majumdar had told the media.
The club also plans to enhance its merchandising business, which at present is a mere ₹ 12 lakh per annum. Setting up football training centres across the country, scale up the sale of its merchandise and set up cafés on a franchisee model are on the club’s agenda to strengthen its financial health.
The break with the United Breweries earlier this had caused severe financial issues for the club earlier this year. However, the signing with Quess Corporation has come as a timely shot in the arm for 98-year-old football entity.
The Calcutta football league champions, East Bengal have three National Football League (rechristened I-League) titles, eight Federation Cups, and three Indian Super Cups among the rich list of their title triumphs.