Manchester United owners in Talks to buy ISL club East Bengal
According to former cricketer Sourav Ganguly, Manchester United’s owners are in talks to buy Indian Super League (ISL) side East Bengal.
The team are currently without investment after its association with Shree Cement Limited came to an end in April 2022.
The company handed over sporting rights, leaving the Kolkata-based team in a perilous position.
Sourav Ganguly has now said that there have been talks between East Bengal and Manchester United’s Glazer family over a takeover.
Ganguly is reportedly facilitating the sale of the club, which finished bottom of the 2021-22 ISL season.
Speaking at a promotional event for Cycle Pure Agarbathites, Ganguly said:
“Yes we have spoken to them and others also. It will take 10-12 more days to know who will be the entity.”
When asked whether the Glazers would be coming in as investors, Ganguly said:
“No, no (they are coming) as an owner.”
However, Ganguly stated that it is too early to suggest who will become the new owners.
“It takes some time. First, let it reach a stage then we will make a comment. I will speak only after there’s a concrete development.”
Bangladesh-based conglomerate Bashundhara Group has also reportedly been in talks with East Bengal.
Manchester United were previously set to play a friendly against East Bengal in 2020, however, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the match from happening.
The Glazers’ interest in East Bengal comes as no surprise as they were interested in buying one of the Indian Premier League‘s two new franchises in 2021.
The IPL expanded from eight teams to 10 for the 2022 season.
The BCCI issued an Invitation to Tender document to allow parties to register an interest in owning one of the two new franchises.
The Glazers, who also own NFL franchise Tampa Bay Buccaneers, made their interest clear but were unsuccessful.
Both franchises, which are now called the Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans, went to other parties in October.
The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group bought the Lucknow team after submitting an offer in excess of £686 million.
Meanwhile, the Titans went to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for £541 million.
Those sale prices came after the BCCI set the two new franchises’ base prices at £194 million.
Both Lucknow and Gujarat finished in the top four of the IPL table in the regular season to qualify for the play-offs.