East Bengal’s participation in the Indian Super League has become uncertain as Shree Cement, the investor supporting its existence in the top league of the country, withdrew its support by returning the sporting rights to the parent club on Tuesday. The development was confirmed by both the Shree Cement and East Bengal officials.
The partnership, which was announced two seasons ago on September 2, 2020, was ”terminated” by Shree Cement after the legacy club officials refused to sign the binding or the final agreement that would secure the agreement between the two.
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“Shree Cement Limited (SCL) has now decided to terminate its sporting collaboration… Pursuant to the termination the Club shall transfer its entire shares held in SCEBF (SC East Bengal Foundation) at book value to SCL and simultaneously SCEBF also agrees to handover all the sporting rights to the club…,” the SCL said in a letter issued to the East Bengal club president on Tuesday while ending its “obligations” towards the club with immediate effect.
“They (East Bengal club) did not sign the final agreement as per the initial term sheet. Hence the association had to be finally ended after two seasons,” said the SC East Bengal CEO Shibaji Samaddar.
Shree Cement came to East Bengal’s aid following the mediation from the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had urged the cement behemoth to financially support the 100-year-old club’s bid to participate in the ISL in 2020.