In a significant development, Manchester United may acquire the ownership of India’s oldest football club, i.e. East Bengal. The development was confirmed by BCCI President Sourav Ganguly as he recently informed that he is facilitating the negotiation deal between the two major football giants. Ganguly has even admitted that Red Devils will not be an investor but will own the club.
Notably, East Bengal has been struggling with the off-the-field issues since its association with Shree Cements Ltd. ended last month. Earlier, speculations were doing the rounds that Bangladesh-based conglomerate Bashundhara Group was also among the front-runners to acquire the club’s ownership, but the negotiations didn’t pan out.
While speaking to news agency PTI, Ganguly informed that he has spoken to European giants Manchester United and talks are ongoing for a club takeover. “Yes, we have spoken to them and others also. It will take 10-12 more days to know who will be the entity. It takes some time. First, let it reach a stage, and then we will comment. I will speak only after a concrete development,” he said.
Pre-pandemic, East Bengal and Manchester United were set to play a friendly pre-season match that was supposed to be held at the iconic Yuvabharati Krirangan Stadium in Salt Lake, Kolkata. A four-member delegation from Manchester United had arrived last year in the city and reportedly met Sports Minister Aropp Biswas at Nabanna.
Allan John Dawson, Manchester United’s director of football, Christoffer Laurens Komen, director of tours and friendlies of the club and officials Philip Malcolm Smith and Matthew Charles Jones were part of the four-member delegation. East Bengal had their worst season in the Indian Super League last season as they hit rock bottom in the 11th position.