A Press-meet was called by East Bengal club today inviting the Media regarding some announcement on sponsorship issues. Club Secretary Kalyan Majumdar and Chief official Debabrata (Nitu) Sarkar were present in the meeting which started around 7 PM where the club officials made it clear that ‘Kingfisher’ will no longer remain the title sponsors of the club.
Kalyan Majumdar said,“They (UB Group) gave us an offer, an offer that they will give a certain amount of money for ‘sponsorship’. But the sum is so low that there is no point of keeping the word ‘Kingfisher’ ahead of the name of East Bengal Football Club. So they will remain as a small sponsor”.
This announcement will mark the beginning of the end of a long standing relationship between United Breweries group of Vijay Mallya and East Bengal Football Club. UB Group were also Title Sponsors of Mohun Bagan when their football team was called ‘McDowell Mohun Bagan’ but that tie-up broke few years ago during Bagan’s barren period in the big stage. The relation was still on with Bagan’s city rivals but after the inception of ISL and the reluctance of a group of East Bengal officials to take part in it initially, UB Group lost interest in investing in the club which took it’s ultimate shape this season when the UB officials decided to give only a sum of 2.5 Crore to East Bengal inspite of repeated request to increase the amount. After this, the East Bengal officials could clearly see the writing on the wall and began the search of Co-sponsors and also title Sponsor. Today they’ve made it clear that from this season the Red and Gold will be back on field with their old name of ‘East Bengal Football Club’ omitting the word ‘Kingfisher’.
But the whole case does not end here. East Bengal’s football department is still officially contracted to UB as Title Sponsors and is having a private limited company in existence. No proper clarification regarding dissolution of the private limited and forming a bond with any new brand was made by the officials in today’s declaration. East Bengal are rumoured to be having three to four Co-sponsors next season but they are yet to find any proper title sponsor.