THE CONTROVERSY surround the final agreement between East Bengal and their investors Shree Cement Limited got further complicated today, with the club declining to sign the term sheet.
A meeting of the East Bengal Club's executive committee was held today, in which the officials reportedly threatened to unanimously resign if the deal was signed in its existing form.
According to the Red and Golds' senior officials, certain regulations mentioned in the deal (Especially those regarding the control of the club's stadium & property) were objectionable.
On the other hand, the investors, led by Hari Mohan Bangur, have maintanined their stance that the term sheet that was signed last year ahead of East Bengal's participation in ISL would have to be fully respected in the final deal. The last communication from the investors in this regard arrived at the club on Monday.
This has created an impasse and East Bengal's participation in ISL 2020-21 remains in limbo because of this.
The Bangur-led consortium, which funded East Bengal's ISL debut, may leave the club unless a solution is worked out by both parties. In that case, East Bengal would have to sign a new investor on a very short notice in order to raise the franchise fee and budget to fulfill the requirements for participating in the ISL.
Last year, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee mediated a discussion between Shree Cement Limited and East Bengal, which resulted in the interim agreement. Recently there have been talks of the club contemplating going to her once again for helping them reach amicable terms for the final agreement. Whether that turns out to be the next move in this long-running series of very public negotiations, remains to be seen.