Here's the summation of the Mohun Bagan - East Bengal joint Press Conference

Arijit Mukherjee  |  The Drama  |  1 Year Ago

MB-EB declares war against the unholy nexus of AIFF-IMGR


The executive committee members from both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal met with IFA on Saturday to decide on their next plan of action subsequently. After an hour and a half long meeting, they looked to be in a pretty aggressive and abrasive mood and categorically stated their severe objection to what the AIFF-IMGR planning to do in the name of taking Indian Football forward. In an unprecedented show of solidarity from the “Big-Two” of Kolkata, they admonished the football system currently in place in no uncertain terms.



Everyone was unanimous in pointing fingers at the Federation for their inept handling of the situation besides disrespect shown to the clubs who have carried Indian Football for a century now.



The points which they put across during the press conference in no uncertain terms are as follows:



#1  “No Mohun Bagan-East Bengal, No ISL in Bengal.”



#2  The federation had earlier announced that they will make clear the road-map for Indian Football on the 25th May but nothing happened, so that needs to be announced before the mega conclave at Kuala Lumpur on 7th June.



#3  A detailed letter has been asked from the AIFF about the matter of discussion Praful Patel had with AFC President Dato Windsor on 24th May so that the Big Two are aware of what exactly happened and as per the details, they will decide if they will attend the mega conclave on the 7th.

#4  The committee has strong objection to I-League and ISL happening simultaneously. Even if AFC allows the AFC Champions League and a AFC Cup slot for the winner of the I League, the Big-Two will not be playing in the I-League as if run parallel with ISL, the league would literally be turned into a second division as the AIFF does not spend anything on the marketing of the league, neither do they give proper telecast or marketing advantage to it. On top of it, the country does not have enough quality footballers at the moment to run two leagues simultaneously.



#5  On 22nd May in a meeting with Kushal Das the officials of MB-EB had proposed a merged league. They had proposed with BFC and Tata group becoming a part of the ISL the team count increases to 10. The Federation should choose another six teams from the rest of the I-League clubs to make it a 16 team proper ISL which will run for seven months. Let the I-League clubs play on zero balance and try to reason with the franchisee and FSDL the difference between clubs and franchisees.



#6  If the Big Two plays alongside ATK in the ISL, there would be no problem with availability of stadiums. The State Sports Minister has promised to look into it and ensure existence of all the three in the same city. The Big-Two are not against ATK; hope they also not create barriers for the Big-Two to be a part of the ISL.



#7  The officials are adamant because of Praful Patel’s non-cooperation and deliberate attempts of not getting MB-EB play in the ISL. The fight is against him as he has promised a lot but has not delivered anything and resorted to false promises. The Federation also needs to let them know why FPAI has been made a part of the conclave when it is a matter of the clubs.



#8  If the conditions put forward are not dealt with on 7th of June, then the Big Two would be compelled to take drastic steps and even resort to wide-spread agitations against the Federation in every quarter. They have also decided to only talk to AIFF as they are the parent body and not IMG-R as they are no one except for marketing partners. Kalyan Majumdar has even compared IMG-R to “moneybag baniyas” with no knowledge of football or its nitty-gritties.

#9  All the 247 clubs registered under IFA as well as the various fan clubs would be made a part of the agitation against the Federation.

#10  If the need arises, a parallel league would be run with other clubs even from outside Bengal as well as get the accreditation done by the help from IFA and the Sports Minister. If required they would seek more support from the Chief Minister.



As per previous experiences though they sound all gung-ho at the moment but the situation may not be as militant after the 7th conclave and time would say if the Big-Two continue to be Tigers or back-track big time on their threats.



Kushal Das when contacted was nonchalant about what they said and was more than ready to send in the know-how documents of the meeting between Praful Patel and Date Windsor if asked for as according to him it is nothing to hide for. Though he preferred not to comment on the threat issued by the state government and IFA.  He also stated that though the initial bidding has ended but if required a special bidding can be opened for the clubs to be taken if the AFC decides accordingly.



By the look of things at the moment the Big-Two have been cornered and they are fighting tooth and nail to survive as there has been serious question on their existence and the AIFF and their partners IMG-R needs to take a large part of the blame for it.

Whatever is the case as football lovers we want everyone to be a part of the Indian Football story in the years to come and let the football is played on the field’s not in conference rooms and in the courtyards of money bag unilateral people.



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