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Bhaichung Bhutia expresses solidarity with supporters of East Bengal, and hopes that the deadlock of Club vs Investor will end soon

The Indian football legend has dedicated his support to East Bengal fans …

The legendary Indian footballer and former captain of the national team, Bhaichung Bhutia, showed solidarity with supporters of East Bengal and hoped that the continuing deadlock between the club and their investor Shree Cement would end soon.

Bhutia used social media on Saturday to extend his support to East Bengal supporters, where he wrote: ‘I stand with East Bengal supporters. It’s sad to see what happens to my club East Bengal. The club belongs to the fans and their legacy. I hope things will be resolved soon and the club is back to its glory days. ‘

Why did the supporters of East Bengal protest and what happened on the protest?

A portion of East Bengal supporters rally last Wednesday with banners near the club premises as they raised slogans against the club officials in a peaceful manner. They demand the officials to sign the final agreement with the investor.

But the peaceful protest suddenly became violent and the police dispersed the protesters to maintain law and order. A few supporters were injured while three or four supporters were arrested, according to the police statement.

Another section of supporters supporting the club officials was also at the venue and encouraged them not to comply with the investors’ demands.

The club officials condemned the fans’ gesture and suggested it brought the club a bad name. They further stated that the final agreement can only be signed after the club and the investor have met to discuss the controversial clauses, which according to the officials are different from the term sheet signed in September 2020.

East Bengal supporters protest

What did the police say about the supporters’ protest that became violent?

A senior police officer described the incident and said: ‘We were waiting patiently when two sets of supporters protested. But after a while, things got out of hand when the crowd threatened people, so we had to charge and distribute them. No fatal charge occurred. Three or four people have been arrested and action will be taken against them. ‘

What’s going on in East Bengal?

After Quess Corp parted ways with East Bengal in June 2020 after being the club’s investor for two seasons, Shree Cement came on board as their new investor facilitating the move to the Indian Super League (ISL).

Thereafter, they set up a joint venture called the Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation, in which the cement giants invested 76 per cent while the club had 24 per cent.

Following the arrival of Shree Cement, a term sheet was signed by both parties in September 2020 in the presence of Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Minister, who played a key role in bringing the company on board as the new investor of the club.

Based on the term sheet, the club’s sports rights as well as all its assets and properties (including intellectual) were transferred to the newly established joint venture between the two parties.

Although the term sheet has been signed, the officials must, despite multiple reminders, sign a final binding agreement of the agreement.

The club officials stuck to the claim that certain points in the final agreement are different from the term sheet that the parties signed. The new management, on the other hand, claims otherwise.

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