A senior Red and Golds official opened up on the recent speculations surrounding the club on various issues.

Amidst a lot of speculation, East Bengal on Wednesday have started sending out return contract papers to 20 of their newly-recruited players for next season.

The contracts were stuck owing to the nation-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We have started sending the signed contract agreements beginning today. It was held up because of the current lockdown crisis,” an East Bengal senior official said.

According to a report in The Times of India, the photocopies of contracts of two East Bengal recruits are in possession with the PTI.

Speculations around the Red and Golds suggested that the club has not returned the contracts of the players they have signed almost a month ago. The club’s future is still uncertain as they are looking to make the jump to the Indian Super League as soon as possible.

Clearing the air, the senior East Bengal official claimed, “A section in the media is trying to misguide football lovers by spreading such speculation.”

“Those who are writing this want to kill the sport in the country and they are doing it intentionally. It’s purely their vested interest.”

The new players whom East Bengal have signed for the upcoming season are:- Balwant Singh, Sehnaj Singh, Angousana Luwang, Milan Singh, Vikas Saini, Mohammed Rafique, Milan Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rino Anto, CK Vineeth, Pritam Singh, Anil Chavan, Girik Khosla, Bikas Jairu, Cavin Lobo, Rafique Ali Sardar, Sankar Roy, Loken Meitei, Gurtej Singh, Lalramchullova and Novin Gurung.

They have also retained goalkeeper Mirshad Michu and Brandon Vanlalremdika for the next season.

The Red and Golds have also terminated their tie-up with Quess Corp who enjoyed 70% stakes upon agreement. Despite their three-year deal, the Bengaluru-based service provider firm left in two years mainly due to a fallout with the club officials.

Dark clouds loom over the exit clause and whether or not the sporting rights are with the company or with the football club at this point of time. The whole scenario has led to speculation which may see East Bengal failing to take part in the Calcutta Football League and also in the IFA Shield.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has also asked the club about their current status as East Bengal should provide clarity on their ownership structure after Quess’ departure which is required for AFC licensing criteria.

“So does that mean Quess will make a team and play? We have a fanbase of more than four crores all over the world. Will they take it for granted. Everything will be sorted,” said the senior East Bengal official against the speculations.

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