As East Bengal began their centenary year celebrations with much aplomb, its Bengaluru-based title sponsors, Quess Corp, is planning to sever ties with the club, that will end a year-long association during which the red-gold finished I-League runners-up.
The announcement from the multinational company that holds a 70 per cent stake is likely to come after East Bengal’s Foundation Day ceremony on Thursday.
“I will wait till the centenary celebrations are over,” Quess chairman Ajit Isaac told PTI, even as there were reports that he had already “served a notice” to the club, feeling let down by the club officials.
“I never had any official conversation with anyone. It’s all [media reports] highly unprofessional,” he added.
However, Isaac has confirmed of the exit by the end of the season.
“By the next two to three quarters, I think we’ll be out of this arrangement,” Isaac revealed in a conference call conducted by IIFL Capital Limited.
“When we invested in East Bengal Club, we had a three-year investment horizon there, so this is the second year.
“We already started talking to our other relevant stakeholders to monetize this asset. We have also been talking to a few possible investors. So it will take some time. We are confident that by the end of this season, we will most probably not be there in that club,” Isaac added.
The investors, who had made some considerable changes in the team set up bringing in quality foreign players and coaching staff, on multiple occasions had run into differences with the club officials especially in team selection.
The latest being the upcoming Durand Cup where the investors wanted to field a reserve side while executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar had hit out at the Quess Corp.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of but they [Quess] are running the show and we’re just watching. They don’t discuss any matters with us. For example, the Durand Cup. We were clear that sending a weaker team will not be an option,” Sarkar had said.
East Bengal were previously referred to as Kingfisher East Bengal but they parted ways with United Breweries group before Quess came on board in July last year.