The chances of East Bengal hosting Premier League giants Manchester United has once again gained steam after the club executive’s member Debabrata Sarkar announced he is still persisting with the idea for the contest to take place this year. The good news, as per Sarkar, is that that United have agreed to the contest but the money to be invested for their appearance is what has put the match on hold.
“We had a meeting today. We are trying our best to make it happen and will see what all possibilities we can explore,” he told IANS. “They are ready to play here, but their appearance fee is huge. I cannot tell the amount, but it is something we need to consider. We are not thinking about it now. We will take a call after May.”
The news of a Man United-East Bengal exhibition match first emerged in November, when a four-member delegation from Manchester United, led by Director of Football Allan Dawson, met the red-and-gold club officials and West Bengal sports minister Aroop Biswas and were satisfied with the facilities.
But the biggest hurdle it’s facing at the moment is financial crunch. With the budget estimated to be a whopping Rs 30 crore, East Bengal have been left in a puzzle. East Bengal ended ties with Bengaluru-based title sponsors, Quess Corp and will be without a sponsor at the end of the season. They are currently seeking for new sponsors, who could help them arrange this tie.
East Bengal are currently struggling in the I-League season. The wrath of fans saw them hurling shoes at CEO Sanjit Sen and COO Chatterjee after the club suffered a 1-3 defeat to Gokulam Kerala.