ISL 2021-22: East Bengal – Shree Cements impasse continues – East Bengal club officials’ long-standing dispute with investors Shree Cements continued. After mediation from Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), the owner of ISL, there was a ray of hope as the two parties came to a meeting on Friday but it did not bear any fruit. After the long-four meeting, Shree Cements asked for time to review their position.
The primary contention between the two parties is regarding the final term sheet. East Bengal club officials were to sign the final term sheet and hand over 76% of the club’s shares to Shree Cements. However, officials claim that there are several discrepancies in the final term sheet and refused to sign it.
ISL 2021-22: When InsideSport reached out to one of the club officials he said that the second round of meetings was supposed to take place on Friday involving two contentious parties and the intermediary but since Shree Cements asked for time, it wasn’t held.
“We do not have any problem signing the final term sheet if they don’t have absurd claims. They are asking us to hand over the land (on which the East Bengal tent is located). We cannot do that because it’s Army’s property and we only get it on lease. That transfer of ownership isn’t possible,” the official told InsideSport on Sunday.
ISL 2021-22: Why do East Bengal officials refuse to sign the contract?
- Shree Cements want the land ownership to be transferred but since the land belongs to the Army, East Bengal cannot do that.
- Signing the final term sheet will disallow any club members to enter the premises. Hence, they are reluctant.
- Handing over complete rights could see Shree Cements change the club’s colour and name, something no supporter or officials will agree on.
- It will also see the transfer of rights of East Bengal’s cricket club and other properties including the library, cafeteria amongst others.
ISL 2021-22: At present, the bone of contention has come down to the transfer of rights. If Shree Cements change their stance, the final agreement will be possible and will see East Bengal play in the ISL 2021-22 but if the investors do not agree, the impasse will continue and that will see the club not feature in the tournament.
“East Bengal is a club built brick by brick by its supporters over 100 years. We cannot allow them to take away all the rights at a go just because they will be investing money. The club belongs to supporters and members. We cannot take away their rights to enter the club premises,” the official said.
ISL 2021-22: When asked if they were willing to give up on the rights to see the club in ISL 2021-22, the official said, “We are not a club that was established because of ISL. We existed long before that and we will continue to exist. As for agreeing to the final term sheet, that will only happen when both parties concede their grounds. I am hopeful that will happen soon.”
There were also rumours that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had asked East Bengal officials not to sign the contract as it involved the transfer of property rights. But the officials claimed that was untrue. Now, all the Red & Gold supporters and the officials await a response from Shree Cements to determine the future of the club.
InsideSport tried reaching Shree Cements officials but phones went unanswered.