East Bengal, Shree Cement part ways; West Bengal CM disappointed with development

The Rajasthan-based cement manufacturers mailed the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and EB officials saying they would be returning the sporting rights to the club.

East Bengal fans

East Bengal fans during a protest against managing authorities of the club in Kolkata on July 21.   -  PTI

Kolkata football giant East Bengal's participation in the country's top tier league for the upcoming season has been put in jeopardy as investor Shree Cement Limited (SCL) has decided to part ways with the club.

The Rajasthan-based cement manufacturer, in an e-mail to the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and EB officials, has said it will be returning the sporting rights to the side.

"They let me know at the very last moment they won't be able to continue the partnership. We are all disappointed and a bit irritated," Banerjee said during a press conference on Monday, slamming Shree Cement for "bad attitude".

She added, "They met me a few days ago and said everything would be sorted by the 16th. Then what could have possibly gone wrong that they decided to back out suddenly?"

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Banerjee also backed more clubs to join the Indian Super League (ISL), saying, "We all want clubs like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting to play in the ISL. I am very happy that Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) is still playing in the ISL. We should all support EB during a difficult time like this."

Earlier this month, Banerjee, who played a key role in SCL's tie-up with East Bengal in its last-minute bid to play in ISL last season, had taken a dig at the club management for being adamant and not signing the final agreement, claiming a discrepancy in the initial term sheet.

"Ektu chere khelun, ektu chere khelle, ota hoe jabe (Allow some space. It will be all right then)," she had said during a programme at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

Having acquired a 76 per cent stake, the SCL had signed a term sheet with the club in September 2020 as the red-and-gold's sporting rights, as well as all of its assets and properties (including intellectual), were reportedly transferred to the newly-formed consortium.

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