Mohun Bagan, East Bengal voice concerns over licensing agreement in proposed football league

The likely entry of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the proposed 10-team top-tier league of Indian football is subject to adhering to the licensing agreement, a requirement both the city heavyweights have protested against.

PTI March 29, 2017 22:23:52 IST
Mohun Bagan, East Bengal voice concerns over licensing agreement in proposed football league

Kolkata: The likely entry of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the proposed 10-team top-tier league of Indian football is subject to adhering to the licensing agreement, a requirement both the city heavyweights have protested against.

As per the licensing agreement of the Football Sports Development Limited that runs the Indian Super League (ISL), the sponsors would have the right to produce logo, jersey colours and make alteration in the name by applying its brand.

According to a senior AIFF official in the know of the matter, the clubs were not ready to compromise as the merger of the top tier I-League and the professionally run ISL is still in a limbo.

Mohun Bagan East Bengal voice concerns over licensing agreement in proposed football league

Representative photo. Getty Images

"It's not something that has not happened before. Mohun Bagan had their title sponsor's names prefixed in the past. Whatever the entity is formed, it would run the club to participate in the ISL maintaining the club's identity," the official said.

"If Shah Rukh Khan gets a stake in Mohun Bagan, he will obviously want his brand name to be attached to it. So first, the clubs have to agree," he said, adding that the FSDL will have a meeting with the state body, Indian Football Association, to discuss the way forward.

Mohun Bagan president Swapan Sadhan Bose has said in a statement that Indian football is incomplete without them.

"We want to explore all possible avenues to ensure that the team plays in the highest level of competition in the country because Indian football can never be complete without Mohun Bagan," he said.

At the same time, Bose said they were not ready to compromise on the agreement at any cost.

"During all levels of discussion we had always said amongst various other things that the logo, jersey colours and most importantly the name of our beloved club cannot be changed at any cost," Bose said.

Since the departure of McDowell mid-season three years back "we are frantically looking for partners. We still believe that all disputes can be resolved through meaningful dialogue and discussions."

With Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) already representing the city in the ISL, it also remains to be seen whether the two popular Kolkata clubs agree to share their home venue to strike a balance.

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