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Bangladesh conglomerate could be on EB’s radar

Bangladesh conglomerate could be on EB’s radar
 After the ongoing edition of Indian Super League (ISL), East Bengal could once again start looking for a principal sponsor, given their frosty relationship with Shree Cement. It is no secret that the club and the corporate body had a lot of differences before the agreement was signed ahead of the season, ostensibly after a nudge from political bigwigs of the state.
This time a Bangladesh conglomerate could well step in to fill the gap if Shree Cement decides against extending the deal. Basundhara Group, a major corporate house in the neighbouring country, which owns three football clubs, could be interested in investing in the Kolkata giant.
“Let the proposal come, we will do whatever is needed,” Basundhara Group’s managing director Sayem Sobhan told TOI on Wednesday. Although he remains non-committal, his statement assumes significance as the official will be felicitated by East Bengal on Thursday.
“We are open to investing in Indian football,” he said.
The buzz is that the current investor is likely to cut short its association with the club soon after the ISL. SC East Bengal, who are placed at the bottom of the table, will wind up their campaign on March 5. However, there is no official words from Shree Cement about its next course of action.
Having managed three football clubs in Bangladesh, including ones which have long and rich tradition, is an added advantage. They have the experience to deal with club officials, who are always looking to gain an upper hand.
In fact, this is where the differences between East Bengal and Shree Cements originated.
For starters, the Basundhara Group will propose friendly matches between East Bengal and their sides. “We will take one step at a time,” Sobhan said. With the corporate body looking to spread its tentacles beyond Bangladesh, Kolkata would be the ideal place to start. It makes business sense to have their logo on jerseys during the ISL.
Incidentally, a Singapore-based corporate body was rumoured to have shown interest in investing in East Bengal when the Kolkata club was looking for sponsors to gain its maiden entry into the ISL. So, the club is open to financial support from beyond the borders. A booster dose from Bangladesh could be a win-win situation for both.

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