The club are yet to declare a change in ownership amid talks of a potential entry into the Indian Super League.
East Bengal club’s chances of joining the Indian Super League in the upcoming season are decreasing with every passing day. The Kolkata giants are yet to declare their change of ownership to All India Football Federation (AIFF).
However, the AIFF has sent out the club licensing agreements to all the ISL and I-League sides on Tuesday. All the clubs, which also includes the Red and Gold, are expected to sign the agreement and send it back to the AIFF within a span of 10 days, to be in a position to attain the license for the 2020-21 season. Failure to submit the agreement will rule them out of all AIFF-governed competitions.
The 100-year-old club is in this hole mainly after they broke ties with their investors Quess Corp, who held a 70% stake in the joint venture under the name of Quess East Bengal Private Limited. The sporting rights were also owned by the Bengaluru-based company.
Despite their departure from the club on 31st May, East Bengal have not informed the AIFF about the status of their ownership. The governing body has been asking for information for over a month.
Quess Chairman Ajit Isaac also wrote a letter to the AIFF suggesting that they are yet to exercise an exit plan and requested for some more time. If East Bengal want the AFC Club License, they have to revert to the AIFF with a proper declaration of their ownership structure.
“The licensing agreements have been sent to all ISL and I-League clubs as per protocol. They will have to sign it and send it back to AIFF in the next 10 days to be part of the club licensing criteria. Failing this would rule any club out of AIFF competitions,” a top source close to the development told IANS.
As per the protocol, the AIFF have sent the licensing documents to ‘Quess East Bengal’ as they have not received any clarification about the change in ownership at the Kolkata outfit.
“They have not informed anything about change of ownership to AIFF. So, it will go as per the club registered with them and send all official communication to Quess only,” the source added.
It is understood that Quess have sent their draft of agreement regarding the conclusion of the association with the club. They have also kept the option of selling their stake to a third party, if the situation arises. According to various media reports, it is only a matter of time before the Red and Gold get back their sporting rights from Quess, but they need to speed up the process as the clock is ticking.