Internet Desk: The representatives of United Beverage (UB) came to East Bengal club ground where they held a meeting with the club officials. Representing the Red and Gold side was Dr. Pranab Dasgupta, Debabrata Sarkar, Kalyan Majumdar , Sponsor Official Amit Sen and Executive Committee member Santosh Bhattacharya. The Sponsor representative was informed about the current situation of the club.
After listening to the entire situation, the Kingfisher representative requested the Club officials to meet again with them at Bangalore at the end of this month.
Does that mean is it a red alert for the club management?
However no such decision has been made as to whether the sponsors would remain or would leave the club. However whether the contract with UB would be renewed or not might be discussed in the meeting at Bangalore.
“They have not made it clear as to whether they would renew the contract or not. A new board of directors has been formed by UB and so as to get in touch with them, we have been invited to Bangalore” said an Official who was present in the meeting.
East Bengal would be playing the I-League this season. Despite being the fact that the I-League is the tier-1 league in India and the champions of the league would get a direct slot to play in the Asian Champions League, the corporate always give priority to branding and marketing which the I-league lacks. That is why they wanted East Bengal to play in the ISL where the sponsors, marketing and broadcast is much better compared to the I-League. Despite collecting the big paper, the Kolkata giants didn’t submit that.
A member who was present in the meeting told www.xtratime.in “We didn’t have that much money to give as appearance fee and that is why we couldn’t play in the ISL”
Previously atleast 10-15 key players of the East Bengal side used to play in the ISL as well so the sponsors could save their salaries for atleast 5 months. As there was a player’s draft this time around, the UB group has to pay the salaries for the entire season which is also a concern. Previous owner of Kingfisher Mr. Vijay Malya used to invest behind the two Kolkata giants behind sheer emotion for the game but the new Board of Directors understands business.
An East Bengal official told XtraTime, “That is why we are in search of new sponsors. Let’s see how it goes but it’s time to get cautious.”
Meanwhile, the Red and Gold brigade played a pre-season friendly against Kalighat today where they won the game with a scoreline of 4-1. Mahmoud Al Amna, East Bengal’s new Asian foreigner scored his first goal in the Red and Gold shirt as new comer Jobi Justin scored one and VP Suhair scored a brace. Coach Khalid Jamil said that his team is now in fine shape and rearing to go. East Bengal will play another pre-season game on Monday.