East Bengal’s assistant general secretary Dr. Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta assured the club enthusiasts that they will do what it takes to play or compete at the highest level.
Dr. Dasgupta suggested that the officials are doing their bit to make sure East Bengal play in the Indian Super League (ISL) but he refused to give a time frame on that. It must be noted that ISL, which is the top division league, will only have 10 participating teams in the 2020-21 season which effectively rules out East Bengal participating in the ISL this season.
“Whenever it is possible, we will play in the ISL. But we cannot say when we can join ISL. It is a legacy club and it has its heritage. But we have to change ourselves a bit and we are trying to reach that point and when that happens we will join ISL. But we cannot say when it will happen,” said the Red and Golds official during a cht show with SportStar.
The club official further said that the club will undergo all the necessary changes that are required in order to establish a professional culture at the club.
“This is a demand of the day and we have to change. Just because we have a legacy, we cannot live with just that. We have to change. But it will not happen in a day. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, our plans got disrupted. But we are trying our level best to make changes. We need to abide by the rules of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). We have to discuss everything with the authorities.”
Dasgupta mentioned that the club was not pleased that their former investors Quess Corp decided to end the Joint Venture as they did not want to continue the association with the club. .
“Before we had Kingfisher as a sponsor. I don’t think we will ever have a sponsor like that. They helped us greatly during the ASEAN Cup (2003). We hoped Quess will also behave in the same way. Unfortunately, the relationship ended with them. We wanted to continue the association but they didn’t want to. In future, we will try to follow the right path. I am sure we will get a new investor soon and keep serving Indian football like in the past.”
While the club officials are willing to hand over majority stakes of the club to new investors, Dasgupta also mentioned that the club will never give up 100 per cent stake to another party in order to protect the legacy of the club.
“We can give 100 per cent stake but it is about the legacy and prestige of the club. You cannot just lose your presence. We will do what will be the right thing for the club and we will do everything for the benefit of the club.”
It must be noted that in ATK Mohun Bagan, Mohun Bagan have only 20 per cent stake while ATK have 80 per cent. East Bengal, as of now, are not willing to enter into such an agreement.