Are Mohun Bagan and East Bengal set to snub AIFF with Big Sponsors?

Arijit Mukherjee  |  Mohun Bagan  |  1 Year Ago

The main reason cited by MohunBagan and East Bengal and their legion of supporters for not getting to play in the ISL has been lack of sponsorship and corporate backing. However, if sources are to be believed, a number of corporate companies are lining up to back the century old clubs in the upcoming I-League and that too with lucrative package which can enable them to easily challenge the ISL juggernauts.



As per unconfirmed source, the situation is not at all gloom and doom when it comes to sponsorship as most people are making out to be. MohunBagan is already in advanced talk with Reliance-Jio to be their title sponsor for the upcoming season of the I-League though nothing has been confirmed officially. The Finance Secretary of Mohun Bagan Mr. Debasish Dutta as well as the recently resigned President of the Green and Maroons Mr. Swapan Sadhan Bose has already made serious inroads and are close to finalising a deal it seems.



On the other hand there is another rumour going round that Ultratek Cement, of Kumaramangalam Birla group is also eager to get associated with the Mariners and talks are on with them albeit it is at an early stage. On the other hand East Bengal is also in talks with Birla cements to be their co-sponsor.  The Red and Gold are also in talk with Chinese mobile brand Oppo and even Gionee for co sponsorship agreement. Gionee was previously backing Shillong Lajong in the I-League.



Compared to MohunBagan, East Bengal is in a better position when it comes to sponsorship as they are still tied up with UB Group as their title sponsor,but the money provided by the liquor giants would not be enough to sustain a total budget of 50 Crore annually so they have been actively pursuing other brands to be their co-sponsors along with Shyam Steels who are already on board. They are even pursuing ITC and as per rumours have been able to convince the top brass at the conglomerate verbally to being their co-sponsors.



The situation of MohunBagan is more desperate and the club management is leaving no stone unturned to pursue every possible sponsorship opportunity to build a strong team and compete with the ISL teams in the same ilk. MohunBagan though looks very close to signing a lucrative deal with Reliance-Jio as the top brass is in close terms with the conglomerate from Mumbai. If the deal goes through it will be extremely good news for the legions of Mariner fans who have been extremely critical of MohunBagan not participating in the ISL and on losing nearly all of their core Indian players to the ISL in the last few months.



These are all speculations and rumours, but it seems that the Big Two of Kolkata football has at last zeroing on viable corporate sponsors to ensure they are perched where they have been for a century now and to keep their legendary status in Indian and Asian Football intact.



In case of East Bengal though they have managed to retain a huge part of their core team due to long term contracts they are serious about bolstering their squad so that they can erase their failure to win major trophies in the last three season and they have been pretty active in the transfer market and this new influx of funds would further strengthen them.



On the other hand MohunBagan after considerable success in the last three seasons albeit without any sponsors looks to be in doldrums from the outside and their CFL team until now also does not have many big names but they are looking to build silently and in a solid manner and if any of the speculations to make sense then they for sure look to trump again in the transfer market in the days to come and look forward to another fruitful season albeit with new players and stars.



Lastly, the Big Two of Kolkata has always made stars and many a players have made their money and name by just appearing for them and it is going to be the same this season and with the corporate backing we have discussed here they would remain to be top drawers in Indian Football even though they would not be a part of the marquee ISL this season.




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