East Bengal find an investor, and it’s not Manchester United | Football News – Times of India

CM steps in to ‘motivate’ Emami Group into financing struggling city giants
KOLKATA: A day after BCCI president Sourav Ganguly hinted at the possibility of Manchester United taking the ownership of East Bengal, state chief minister Mamata Banerjee put all speculations to rest, announcing on Wednesday that the Emami Group would be the new investor for the Kolkata club.
“Both sides came to me for tea today and have agreed (to join hands together). As a result, East Bengal’s problems in relation to playing in the ISL have been solved,” Banerjee told reporters in presence of East Bengal and Emami Group’s key functionaries.
While the chief minister’s announcement cleared the uncertainty hanging over East Bengal’s future following the end of their tumultuous two-season association with previous investor Shree Cement Ltd, the club officials welcomed the move, saying the priority would now be forming a “competitive” team in the new season.
“Because of various reasons, we failed to live up to expectations in the past of couple of seasons. Our focus now is predominantly on making a strong and competitive team so that we can fight for the championship and not finish at the bottom of the table,” senior East Bengal official Debabrata Sarkar, who attended the meeting with the CM at Nabanna, told TOI.
Taking “pride” in the new venture, the city-based multinational company also offered “the best standards of the sport” to the club and its fans.
“It is a great moment of pride for us to forge a relationship with an iconic football club like East Bengal. We were motivated by Didi (chief minister)’s passion for sports to form this relationship and are thankful for Didi’s support to make this possible,” Aditya V Agarwal, Emami Group director, said later on.
“Emami has been associated with sports in various formats in the past. We do believe it is the duty of the corporate world to promote and nurture sports and sportsmen. East Bengal club is an integral part of Indian football. We hope that together with them, we will continue to offer football lovers the best standards of the sport,” Agarwal added.
It has been learnt that East Bengal and Emami will sit together on Saturday to chalk out various aspects of the deal.
The club officials had been at loggerheads with the previous investor since having announced a JV in presence of the CM in 2021 and as a consequence, the term sheet, signed between the two parties, which led to East Bengal’s entry into the ISL-7, had not been executed into a final agreement. Shree Cement handed the sporting rights back to the club last month.
On Tuesday, former India captain Ganguly told mediapersons that “Manchester United might come as owners” of East Bengal and a “clear picture” would emerge in about two weeks.
With the new investor now on board, East Bengal are ready to start all over again. “This is a new beginning, a new dream for us. Hopefully, with the help of our new investor, East Bengal will be able to bring back their glory days,” remarked the club official.

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