East Bengal as part of their Centenary Year celebrations are aiming to play an exhibition match with English Premier League giants Manchester United at the Salt Lake Stadium next year. The efforts to have Manchester United in Kolkata as part of East Bengal are on. The match, however, can only be confirmed after a final call by the Premier League club management.
A four-member delegation from Manchester United, led by Director of Football Allan Dawson, have met the East Bengal officials and West Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas in Kolkata yesterday.
The delegation comprised Manchester United’s director of football Allan John Dawson, director of tours and friendlies of the club Christoffer Laurens Komen along with two other officials Philip Malcolm Smith and Matthew Charles Jones.
The Manchester United delegation had also visited the Salt Lake Stadium and expressed satisfaction at the facilities, East Bengal executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar said.
“This was a preliminary inspection and they will submit a report within 10 days based on which we will go forward. Then we will work out the financial logistics,” Sarkar said.
It is learnt that the appearance fee for the Red Devils is a whopping ₹24 crore, plus other extra expenses which will make it a ₹30-crore affair.
If it works out, this match will be a part of the centenary celebrations of East Bengal and United’s pre-season Asia tour in July 2020.
East Bengal began their centenary celebrations with aplomb on July 31 with a march from Kolkata’s Kumartuli area to the club ground at Maidan. A galaxy of stars, including World Cup-winning cricket captain Kapil Dev, were felicitated.
ManU are also expected to visit Bangladesh for a match on their Asia tour next year.