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ISL-bound Mohammedan confident of meeting club licensing criteria

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Kolkata, April 7: First roadblock cleared after winning their maiden I-League title, Mohammedan Sporting are now confident of fulfilling the ‘Rs 100-crore bank guarantee requirement’ that will pave their way to the top-tier Indian Super League next season.
The 133-year-old club, second oldest in Kolkata Maidan after Mohun Bagan, defeated Shillong Lajong FC 2-1 in an away match on Friday to become I-League champions after many failed attempts.
They will play in the ISL next season, subject to fulfilling Indian Club Licensing System Premier 1 criteria.
“We have already met ISL club licensing criteria which is basically about infrastructure, administration, sporting and financial criteria,” Mohammedan Sporting general secretary Ishtiaque Ahmed said.
By virtue of being a promoted club to the ISL, Mohammedan Sporting, unlike their Maidan rivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, won’t have to cough up the Rs 15-crore franchise fee.
“We now just need some bank guarantee and some financial matters that need to be sorted with the investors, which will be done in due course,” Ahmed said.
As per guidelines, the new club will have to show a bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore to play in the top-tier league, something Punjab FC had done last season.
Gurgaon-based sports management firm BunkerHill Pvt. Ltd. has currently 51 per cent stake in the club after inking an eight-year deal amid much fanfare in October 2020.
After the promotion to the ISL, their stake will increase to 61 per cent and it remains to be seen if they get clubbed with any new investors ahead of the next season.
Ahmed was part of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s delegation to Dubai and Spain late last year during which they had a talk with potential investor in Lulu Group which eventually didn’t materialise. (PTI)

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