The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has asked city football giants East Bengal to clear the air on players’ payments by September 4 after at least five footballers approached the Players’ Status Committee (PSC) regarding their salaries that have remained unpaid by the club’s former investors.
After September 4, the matter will be presented to the PSC.
Bengaluru-based Quess Corp terminated the agreement with East Bengal on July 17 and gave the sporting rights back to the club.
On April 25, Quess had activated the Force Majeure clause to unilaterally terminate all the contracts with effect from May 1.
The players, among whom some had multi-year contracts with the club and others have a one month salary pending, had sent notices to Quess East Bengal, with whom they had contracts. Quess, in their reply, had said they have nothing to do with East Bengal any longer.
The players also approached the AIFF PSC through their representative, the Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI).
They have also terminated their contract unilaterally and are now free agents.
“The AIFF has sent a letter to East Bengal asking them to respond to players’ demands regarding non-payment. They have been given time till September 4 after which the matter will be referred to PSC again,” a source close to the development told IANS on condition of anonymity.
“Usually, the PSC evaluates both parties’ claims, but in this case if East Bengal does not respond till September 4, only players’ demands will be placed. If East Bengal replies and asks for more time, another week after September 4 will be given to them,” the source added.
After the termination of the contract with Quess Corp, all the liabilities are now with ‘East Bengal Club Private Limited’, including all contracts and clauses, entered into with a player by ‘Quess East Bengal Football Club’ (QEBFC). Therefore, the onus is now on East Bengal to honour those contracts.
Currently without an investor, East Bengal are struggling and also missed the Indian Super League (ISL) bus this season.