ISL 2020-21: The East Bengal impasse is all but resolved

The legal impasse holding up East Bengal club’s association with its investor Shree Cement has reached a point of resolution.

East Bengal will enter the ISL as the eleventh team in the tournament.   -  PTI

The legal impasse holding up East Bengal club’s association with its investor Shree Cement has reached a point of resolution, according to sources.

The finalisation of the partnership, announced early last month, ran into rough weather after some members raised doubts at the East Bengal Club’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM), which was convened to officially transfer the sporting rights to the new conglomerate formed as a result of the new agreement.

The club has now apparently agreed to “indemnify” the doubts to the satisfaction of its investor and pave the way for a proper transfer of the governing rights.

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The new entity – Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation – where the former owns a majority share of 76 per cent for being the investor, acquired the controlling rights of East Bengal and submitted the relevant documents, funds and securities to secure a successful passage to the country’s top league – the Indian Super League. But shortly after the official announcement of East Bengal becoming the 11th team in the ISL, the doubts raised at the EGM came to put a spanner in the formation and functioning of the new board of the SCEB Foundation.

There has been no official communication regarding the issue but the impasse became apparent as the announcement of the new coach and the squad for the ISL was delayed. Officials following the development said that authorities at the Shree Cement wanted an “indemnity” from the doubts raised at the EGM as it could cause legal complications in the future.

“The West Bengal state Advocate General Kishore Datta came to the club apparently to have a look at the agreement and speak to the club officials about honouring the deal,” said a source. The Advocate General’s involvement seems to be the result of a directive from the state government as the partnership happened under the patronage of the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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According to the sources, the club administration understood the necessity of honouring the agreement and will be issuing the “required indemnity” at the earliest. The message about the concerns raised at the EGM has also reached the investor, which has apparently held out the assurance that the concerns and doubts will be addressed once the SCEB Foundation takes over the charge officially.

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