East Bengal Likely To Get TATA Group As Their Major Sponsor
As was reported by Feverpitch.in yesterday, I-League clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are looking for sponsors who can help them to compete in the "unified" league that will also include Bengaluru FC and the 8 Indian Super League franchises. Responses had been coming, but it seems that something concrete is likely to materialize soon with the TATA Group having expressed their interest in investing in East Bengal.
The corporate body owned by the Ambanis, creators of the ISL are desperate to tap into the supporter base of the Bengal giants, whose count runs into millions. Realizing that a market like that would be critical to sustaining the future of the ISL, the governing body has been desperately looking for sponsors who could do fund these outfits.
With Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan reportedly showing interest in investing in the Mariners, the TATA Group has apparently made contact with officials of the Red and Gold brigade with an intention of doing the same. A capital funding of about 40-50 crores would be required to run the clubs according to the setup required by the ISL standards, which would be impossible to raise by the clubs all by themselves. With big-name sponsors backing them, the idea of seeing a merged league could turn into a reality as early as next season if the All India Football Federation gives the go-ahead.
It will be interesting to see how the contractual talks pan out with the TATA Group though, since East Bengal already have the UB Group as their primary sponsors and will have to terminate that contract first.
Keep watching this space for more.