DEBATE: The good, the bad & the 2019 for Red & Golds!
Last Updated 7:50 PM 30th December 2019 .
2019 has been an eventful year for East Bengal fans all over the world. There have been highs and lows, moments of joy and also controversies which summed of the end of the decade for the Red and Gold brigade.
We have tried to recollect the goods and the bads from 2019 and what we can expect from the new year.
2019 saw East Bengal emerge as a team under Coach Alejandro Menendez. The team lost only just one game in the I-League in the calendar year against the eventual champions of 2018-19 I-League Chennai City FC.
The team came short by just a single point of the coveted title but the reception it got from the fans was unbelievable. Thousands gathered at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport to welcome the team even when they failed to win the title, such was the performance of the team.
The Red and Gold brigade started off the 2019-20 I-League campaign from where they left and sits on top of the table as the year ends with 8 points from 4 matches, taking the undefeated streak to 13 matches.
2019 for East Bengal Football Club shall also remain special as the club stepped into its Centenary year 1st August 2019. The 100th Anniversary event was a gala as the celebrations lasted for more than two weeks.
On 28th July, more than 50,000 fans came down to the streets as they marched from Kumartuli Park to the East Bengal Ground, making a sea of Red and Gold on the streets of Kolkata.
East Bengal also brought in their Legendary foreigner Majid Bishkar from Iran after 35 years and awarded him the “Best Foreign Player of 100 years” in front of a nostalgic and enthusiastic crowd.
If 2019 brought in some happy memories then it also brought in some controversies which none of the East Bengal fans wanted to happen.
The first incident happened in April as the team management decided to pull out of the Hero Super Cup along with 7 other I-League clubs.
They gave a walkover to their opponents Delhi Dynamos in the Round of 16 match. Fans didn’t like this as East Bengal team were on a high after the I-League and they were the runners up of the previous edition of the tournament. Fans wanted the team to play.
East Bengal team also were on the headlines as they once again denied to field a team against Calcutta Customs in the final match of the Calcutta Football League, as Peerless SC became Champions. Fans were again not happy with the decision taken by the team management.
The team also failed to win any of the trophies they participated in 2019, which has made fans unhappy as they wanted all trophies from the centenary season.
The controversies continued as the rift between the club management and investors became clear each day. As things stand, there could be new investors for the football team in the new year.
The future: 2020…
2020 does have the possibility to hide the disappointment of 2019, as East Bengal team looks to win the coveted I-League trophy.
January would be a vital time for the team as they face three of the title contenders back to back.
In terms of commercial growth, the clubs looks to expand to new horizons with news about a partnership with Scottish giants Celtic FC getting stronger. The Scottish delegates visited the club and after initial talks have invited the club officials to Scotland for further discussions.
To sum up, the start of the new decade does bring in lot of hopes for the fans as the club looks to complete it’s 100 years of existence on a high and reach uncharted horizons.