East Bengal announced on Tuesday night that they officially submitted the Invitation to Bid (ITD) documents to participate in the next season of the Indian Super League to ISL organisers Football Sports Development Limited.
The Indian football club made the announcement on Twitter, saying the consortium with new investors Shree Cement Ltd have placed the bid.
Last week, East Bengal’s investors had registered a new company named Shree Cement Foundation to pick up and submit bid documents for one franchise slot in the next season of ISL.
FSDL had invited clubs from six cities – – Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Ludhiana, Siliguri and Bhopal – to participate in the the league earlier this month.
However, given that FSDL’s notice of invitation comes just after it was announced that East Bengal have found a main sponsor, it was evident that Kolkata giants will be lining up a bid to become the 11th team in the ISL.
Kolkata-based Shree Cement, which has a turnover of over Rs 12,000 crore, had signed a letter of intent to buy a 76% stake in East Bengal, paving the way for the century-old club’s entry into the top-tier ISL.
The 2020-’21 edition of the ISL will be played behind closed doors across three venues in Goa from November. While FSDL initially announced it will stick to ten teams, the door was always open for a late East Bengal entry into the fray.
The ISL, set to enter just its seventh season, will be massively boosted by East Bengal’s entry into the competition, especially with arch-rivals Mohun Bagan merging with ATK. The rivalry will be a shot in the arm for the ISL which is set to transition into an Asian Football Confederation-accepted format in the coming years.