The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has sought clarificaton from Quess East Bengal FC regarding the ownership structure of the club.
East Bengal are currently registered as Quess East Bengal FC since 2018 with the Indian FA but the Red and Golds are likely to part ways with their Bengaluru-based investors Quess Corp post-May 31, 2020.
Quess Corp and East Bengal had started a joint venture named Quess East Bengal FC wherein the former owned 70 per cent of the rights while the rest being with the club. The new entity was transferred all the sporting rights including the right to participate in the I-League.
With Quess having expressed their desire to end the association with East Bengal, it remains to be seen what the structure of the club’s ownership would be. Whether Quess East Bengal FC would be diluted and the footballing rights be transferred back to East Bengal or would Quess continue to hold on to their shares in the hope to recover the losses incurred.
The legal criteria for a club to apply for the AFC license states that the license applicant will have to submit a legally valid declaration outlining the ownership structure and control mechanism of the club.
Thus, both parties Quess and East Bengal will have to inform the parent body about the future of the club.
Quess East Bengal FC along with eight I-League clubs had failed to clear both AIFF’s national criteria and AFC’s club licensing criteria last season. But as per the club licensing regulations they were given an exemption for one season.
The Exception policy of the club licensing regulation suggests, "In principle, an exception is granted for a period of one season. Under specific circumstances this period may be extended and the AIFF may be placed on an improvement plan."
“The AIFF has formally written to Quess East Bengal FC to seek clarity on the ownership structure as it is one of the requirements for the AFC club licensing procedure,” informed a source privy to the matter.