Quess Corporation and East Bengal part ways

Ajit Isaac, Chairman and Managing Director, Quess Corporation (Image : I-League)
Ajit Isaac, Chairman and Managing Director, Quess Corporation (Image : I-League)

Quess Corporation has announced that they would be terminating their Joint-Venture (JV) agreement with East Bengal Club on Friday through a Press Release. East Bengal Club have been given back their sporting and football rights, and can now form an association with potential sponsors and investors as they look to participate in the Indian Super League (ISL) in the 2020-21 season.

The agreement between East Bengal Club and Quess Corporation was made on July 5, 2018, with an initial period of 3 years subject to further extension to form the Quess East Bengal Football Club (QEBFC).

Quess Corporation bought 70% shares of the football team of East Bengal Club while the remaining 30% shares stayed with the club. One of the key clauses in the agreement was that Quess-backed Quess East Bengal had to enter the cash-rich Indian Super League (ISL) within the next three years.

A bitter-sweet experience for East Bengal

However, after a successful season with two consecutive Kolkata Derby wins in the 2018-19 football calendar, Quess Corporation embarked on rampant cost-cutting.

The efficiency shown in the 2018-19 season was absent in the 2019-20 season. The relations between the Bengaluru-based corporates and the club worsened, as a war of words took place in the local press.

East Bengal failed to win any laurels and suffered a defeat to their arch-rivals, Mohun Bagan, in the I-League Derby. Quess made it clear that they would be backing out of the agreement in January 2020 by May 31, 2020.

However, the formalities of termination of the contract were delayed due to a lack of clarity on the situation on financial grounds from both sides, which has been put to rest.

“We are pleased to inform that the JV agreement closure has taken place between Quess Corp and EBC on mutually agreed terms. The formalities pertaining to termination of the JV agreement between Quess, QEBFC and EBC was concluded on 17 July 2020. Consequent to this the sporting rights have been returned to the Club and the shares held by the Club in QEBFC have been returned to Quess,'' said Ajit Isaac, Chairman and Managing Director, Quess Corporation.
Upholding the future of the game as well as its supporters has been our sole intent from the very beginning and we are glad that the we have been able to resolve all points of discussion in good faith. We believe that the club has fantastic potential and we leave with good memories of the diehard supporters, its talented players and its many sporting victories which we still cherish. We wish the club only the best as we move forward,'' concluded Isaac as he wished East Bengal club the very best.

Quess East Bengal had a final turnover of ₹4.29 crore in the 2019-20 Financial Year as per the official statement from Quess Corporation. East Bengal have been in touch with the Government of West Bengal, All India Football Federation (AIFF), and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) as they look to pen a deal with potential investors to be financially stable to play the Indian Super League.

Singapore-based Universal Success Enterprises Limited (USEL) is the latest name to be linked with the club for a potential share-ownership deal.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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