The Emami Group is yet to sign the contract with East Bengal to own a majority stake in the club, Aditya Agarwal, the director of the company, said on Sunday.
It has been more than two weeks since West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee made the announcement of the tie-up at her office in Nabanna in the presence of East Bengal senior official Debabarata Sarkar and representatives from the Emami Group. “Both sides have agreed and the problem of East Bengal playing in the Indian Super League will be solved,” Mamata had announced.
But, Emami Group‘s top official Agarwal said the negotiations were “still on.”
“The agreement hasn’t been signed yet. The negotiations are still on. Everything will be clear by early next week,” Agarwal told PTI.
‘100 percent positive’
According to reports, Emami wants 80 per cent stake and the legal departments of both the parties are negotiating to finalise the draft before it is signed. Without revealing the details, Agarwal said: “Yes the discussions are about stake-holding pattern and other details. We are yet to sign the deal and if there are any differences the deal can get cancelled also. I don’t want to be speculative, we are 100 per cent positive. Everything will be clear in a week’s time,” he added.
With the picture still not clear about its participation in ISL 2022-23, the club’s team-building exercise has stopped midway after a handful of announcements.
The 24-year-old midfielder Mobashir Rahman, who represented League Shield winner Jamshedpur FC, was the last player to have joined the club. The red-and-gold outfit had two disastrous ISL seasons while playing as ‘SC East Bengal.’
In its ISL debut in 2020-21, it finished ninth out of 11 teams, and in the last season, it finished rock-bottom as its association with Shree Cement Ltd. ended prematurely. SCL had bought a majority stake of 76 per cent on September 2, 2020, to help EB make a last minute entry in the ISL.
But the association did not go off well as EB’s executive committee refused to sign the final agreement, claiming discrepancies in the initial term, leading to the investors’ pull-out after last season.
Before SCL, Quess Corp had bought a 70 per cent stake in East Bengal in 2018 but the relationship between the two entities soured and it lasted for two years before the Bengaluru-based left in June 2020.