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East Bengal will bid for ISL, if the bidding process is open- Club Secy Debabrata Sarkar

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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The move heaps more pressure on arch-rivals Mohun Bagan who are also seeking a spot in the coveted league

Kolkata giants East Bengal have unveiled business conglomerate Quess Corporation as their new sponsors from the 2018/19 season onwards. The India-based business has signed a long-term deal with the Red and Gold and will aim to help the growth of the club.

Club Secretary Debabrata Sarkar also had some interesting words when asked about East Bengal's participation in the Indian Super League. He stated that for him, the quality of football in the I-League is much better than the ISL. Sarkar added that if a bidding process for entry into the ISL is opened, then East Bengal will make an official bid to enter the competition next season.

It was also announced that Quess Corporation will do their best to help improve the youth facilities, training facilities and development of the club in the next few years. It was also indicated that East Bengal might tie-up with major European clubs in the next few years to help with the development of football at the club.

Sarkar also had some interesting thoughts on the ISL and said, “We want one merged league. There is nothing special about ISL. It’s here today, it will not be here tomorrow.”

In an official unveiling held at the Park Hotel, Kolkata, a video explaining the vision and work of the Quess Corporation was shown to give everyone an introduction to the organization. Sarkar then spoke about the partnership and said, “The way we have moved forward with this association I want to talk about. For the past 20 years we were in a partnership with someone else. For some reason,  in May, our relations with them ultimately ended. From then, we think we were going to tackle the situation, but finding a solution was difficult.

He added, “Doing this, we had a meeting with someone who helped us talk with a few investors. At the time, our advisor Ajay Chatterjee, from him we took some advice. After that we started talking with them. I was told that one of my friends wanted to work with our club. He watched our club for a few years and wanted to tie-up with football.  He’s seen and tried working with other clubs in India, but that didn’t pan out that well. So, after his advice, we started talking to him and realized that they had a dream to take football forward. “


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Sarkar also eluded to encouraging signs for the club and said, “They want to improve youth development and the work with the corporate sector. After that, we had many meetings with them and ultimately today the deal took a final form.

He continued, "In India, East Bengal is the club with the biggest history. We thank Quess Corporation for working with us. The whole East Bengal unit is thankful for them to work with us. We will try to take East Bengal to newer heights whilst working with them.”

Club President Pranap Dasgupta also spoke a few kind words and said, “I feel proud to announce the marriage between Quess and East Bengal. I assure you that it’ll never end in divorce. Till they kick me out, I’ll continue as the President. I feel like, after this association, we can help Bhaichung Bhutia’s dream of India qualifying for the 2026 World Cup come true.”

East Bengal press conference at the Park Hotel revealing vital decisions 

The Chairman of Quess Corporation, Ajit Isaac also had a few words to speak about the deal and said, “In a country which is 71 years old, if a club is 98 years old, then it shows how strong they’ve been all these years. We are delighted to be a part of this club. We want to be a part of the vision to take Indian football forward. We think this association can be amazing for us to grow as a company. We will try to improve the player-base, youth development and training facilities of the club. The fans will be given opportunities to enjoy more success with the club.”

The Group CEO of Quess, Subrata Nag said, “We’d like to be a real partner and not just for commercial interests. We’ll use this opportunity and work with East Bengal’s management to find out how we’ll help Calcutta football to regain its lost glory. We’ll try to improve professional management, how to improve training facilities, youth development and sports management. We’ll try to tie-up with top European clubs to improve the state of the club.”

Published: Thu Jul 05, 2018 06:14 PM IST

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