The Kolkata-outfit had previously activated the Force Majeure clause to terminate the players’ contracts.
East Bengal players, who saw their multi-year contracts terminated by the club last week have approached the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) regarding their terminated contracts.
They are even considering contacting the All India Football Federation (AIFF) regarding compensation from investors Quess who folded up their investment in the club last week. The investors had activated a “Force Majeure” clause which enabled them to terminate the contracts of every player from May 1.
In fact, the players were only paid till the end of April, with Quess not finding it liable to pay them till the entirety of the season which extends till June. The FPAI’s player liaison officer Siddhartha Bhattacharya spoke on this to IANS.
“Around 10 Indian players have approached us so far seeking help. Six-seven more players will also be sending us their contracts and then we will draft a letter to Quess by the end of next week. If the matter can be solved amicably, fine, or we will help them approach the AIFF.”
A number of Indian players which includes the likes of Boithang Haokip, Brandon Vanlalremdika, Lalrindika Ralte, Abhishek Ambekar, Asheer Akhtar, Samad Ali Mallick, Prakash Sarkar and Manoj Mohammed have one or more years remaining on their contracts.
Spaniard Jaime Colado Santos had also initially penned a three-year deal which would’ve seen his contract expired after the 2020-21 season. It’s now expected that the Spaniard will want his entire salary even though the organizers who bought him (Quess) have now folded up.
“We have advised the foreign players to approach their respective players’ associations seeking justice. The Spanish players’ association is very strong and these players could complain to FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) against the Quess East Bengal decision,” Bhattacharya said on the foreign dispute matter.
Quess had initially stated that it would end ties with East Bengal after May 31, but the COVID-19 impacting their finances forced them to leave earlier than expected. However, Bhattacharya warns them to ensure that their investors fulfil their duties and fully pay their players as they are bought by the club themselves and not the investors.
“East Bengal cannot be in denial. Quess will be gone after May 31. The club will still be liable to clear the players’ dues as a player signs a contract with a club and not its investor. If they think they can get away with this, they have their head in the sand.”
East Bengal continue to look for respective investors who could help them participate in the Indian Super League (ISL) next season. But with time running out, it remains to be seen whether they can pay all these players and manage to rival ATK-Mohun Bagan in the Indian top-flight next season.