East Bengal have made a breakthrough in search of a new investor and have initiated the process to participate in the Indian Super League, multiple newspapers reported on Wednesday.
Cement manufacturer Shree Cements has been finalised as the investor for East Bengal, according to club sources.
“We are on our way to finalise the deal by today evening. So I would urge fans and everybody else to wait for the good news to arrive,” the official told indianexpress.com on conditions of anonymity.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who reportedly played a key role in helping East Bengal rope in the investor, also confirmed the development in a press conference on Wednesday.
Despite Football Sports Development Limited’s decision to restrict the 2020-’21 season to ten teams, East Bengal now believe they can make the cut for this season’s edition, making a late entry into the competition.
An official announcement regarding East Bengal’s addition to the ISL is now awaited, reported The Times of India.
The 2020-’21 edition of the ISL will be played behind closed doors across three venues in Goa from November. While FSDL initially announced it will stick to ten teams, the door was always open for a late East Bengal entry into the fray.
The ISL, set to enter just its seventh season, will be massively boosted by East Bengal’s entry into the competition, especially with arch-rivals Mohun Bagan merging with ATK. The rivalry will be a shot in the arm for the ISL which is set to transition into an Asian Football Confederation-accepted format in the coming years.