Courtesy: Soham Mukherjee, r/IndianFootball, goal.com, Mohun Bagan Media
Mohun Bagan’s 2017/18 season ended around April 20 with the conclusion of the inaugural edition of the Super Cup. But the club administration failed to meet three deadlines (March 15, April 15 and April 30) to pay three months worth of wages to the players.
The former financial secretary Debashish Dutta has said that if the current executive committee is dissolved and the day-to-day operations of the club are handed over to the current directors, the club will once again function smoothly.
Amidst the snow-balling of the wage issue, it is the junior players that get affected severely. Most of them hail from financially weak backgrounds and are dependent on their monthly salary not only to meet their daily expenses, but also to support their family back home.
It is not for the first time that the century-old club has defaulted on making timely payments to the players.
In January 2013, discontent grew among the Mohun Bagan players as the club management had failed to credit the salaries for a period of two months within the stipulated time.
In May 2015, when the Kolkata giant were well on their way to lift their maiden I-League title, the players and the coaching staff were made to wait for their wages.
It must be pointed out that the revenue model of the club is highly impractical. They are completely dependent on sponsorship amount which is a appalling for a club operating for more than a century nationally and internationally.
Revenue sources like player transfer fees, merchandise sales are still alien to the club. With the kind of supporter base that Mohun Bagan boasts, shirt sales and merchandise sales should have been a healthy source of revenue.
The club is yet to launch an official store even in Kolkata. The failure to do so must be shared by administrators both past and present. It is time the organisation takes a leaf out of their Indian Super League (ISL) counterparts and implement prudent financial planning.