Mamata Banerjee: East Bengal will play ISL; Shree Cement will remain as investors

News Desk: On Wednesday from the Nabanna, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee broke the deadlock between the East Bengal and Shree Cement. Congratulating East Bengal fans, she said that the club will play the ISL and Shree Cement will remain the investors.

She said “East Bengal has played the ISL last year owing to Shree Cement. This time things were a bit uncertain until now because of which day before yesterday, I too became a bit hostile”

“Where will East Bengal fans go, I thought, if they aren’t able to play? I want Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and even Mohammedan Sporting to play (in the ISL) in the upcoming days. They have a brand value in global football. I think EB fans are happy today. Even MB will be happy cause they want their opponents to play. There were many who called me to express their disappointment regarding the earlier situation” she added.

Thanking chief minister Mamata Banerjee, senior East Bengal official Debabrata Sarkar said  “Didi has always been with us. For her, we could install floodlights at the club grounds. Just like last year, this year too Didi has help us come out of a tough spot. We thank her and SCL. Khela hobe!”

What was it all about?

In June 2020, Quess Corp made an exit as the investor of East Bengal, and Shree Cement was brought on board as an investor. Thereafter, a joint venture — Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation was formed with 76% stakes for the new investors while the club had 24 percent.

A term sheet was also signed in September 2020 by both the parties and according to it, the club’s sporting rights as well all its assets and properties (including intellectual) were reportedly transferred to the newly formed joint venture.

However, the final binding agreement of the deal took a lot of meetings and negotiations. Shree Cement had already sent a revised version of the final agreement to the club as well as to the West Bengal Chief Minister on August 16. East Bengal club executive members had refused to sign the final agreement with Shree Cement, claiming a discrepancy in the initial term sheet.

Finally, on Wednesday, Shree Cement Limited agreed to extend its partnership with East Bengal.