East Bengal sponsors likely to sever ties with club soon

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Kolkata, July 29 (IANS) Quess Corp, East Bengal’s title sponsors, on Monday hinted that they will sever ties with the club amid reports of a fallout between them and the outfit’s board members.

A day after the heritage club kick started their centenary celebrations, Bengaluru-based Quess chairman Ajit Isaac hinted that they will pull the plug on East Bengal at the end of the season and the announcement is likely to come after the red and golds’ Foundation Day ceremony on Thursday.

“They mailed us just few minutes ago saying not to trust reports that they are leaving, but added that a decision would come soon. They wished us all the best for our centenary year,” a top East Bengal offical told IANS.

“Signs are that they might not continue the association. But we, as a club, are on the brink of completing 100 years. We will move on,” he added.

At a conference call conducted by IIFL Capital Ltd, Issac said that the company is mulling an exit soon. In the transcript obtained by Yahoo Finance and quoted by Goal, he said: “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.

“So by the next two to three quarters, I think we’ll be out of this arrangement. But what this year we have been trying to do is to increase our sponsorship income. Initially last year, we didn’t have much time (as it was the first year). We already signed three sponsorships this year. So our idea for the current year is to content our loss year and make it as minimum as possible. And at the same time look for an exit from this investment.”

Since Quess came on board, there have been considerable changes in the team set up with quality foreign players and coaching staff being roped in.

But on multple occasions, Quess and the club officials have been at loggeheads during fielding a team in the Super Cup and later the team selection for the upcoming Durand Cup.

While the owners wanted to field a reserve side, the club officials wanted the full team to play. In the year-long association between East Bengal and Quess, the club finished I-League runners-up.

Previously, East Bengal were referred to as Kingfisher East Bengal before United Breweries walked away and Quess came in on board.

–IANS

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