The premises of Mohammedan Sporting Club has turned vibrant again in presences of former players, organisers and supporters, brushing aside September’s casino scandal which resulted in director-in-charge Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan being arrested.
The arrest of Bhuiyan in fact paved the way for return of former players and organisers, who once shied away from the club. Badal Roy, former national footballer and current vice-president of Bangladesh Football Federation, is playing a key role behind reorganising the popular club regarding the transfer window of Bangladesh Premier League.
With heavy financial crisis jostling the club, Roy on Sunday sat with some business people to seek financial help to run the club ahead of next annual general meeting, which is likely to give directives to the new board of directors.
Some 17 businessmen including Mohammedan’s interim president Kutubuddin Ahmed and Dhaka City Corporation (North) mayor Atiqul Islam attended the meeting to discuss different aspects of the club including the AGM, election, forming squads in football, cricket and hockey.
“We invited approximately 20 businessmen who love Mohammedan or were once involved with the club even though not all of them were present. The club’s president Obaidul Karim could not join the meeting due to suddenly falling ill.
“However, the response from the well-wishers was really satisfying as they promised to help the club financially as I told them I am not physically fit enough to look after everything,” Roy said.
Former president Kutubddin said, “Everyone is interested to help Mohammedan as they have good memories with the club. Those who attended the meeting promised to provide financial help to run the football squad.”
Roy, who suffered a stroke in 2017, said that he urged all former players and organisers to come back to the club after RAB busted casino at the club para. The former players and organisers responded immediately by helping form a squad for top-flight football, he said.
“The club president [Obaidul Karim] has showed more interest than we expected. He said that he gave Tk 7 crore in two years but there was lack of accountability,” Roy said, adding that they are going to appoint a chief executive officer after abolishing the post of director-in-charge.
Former additional general secretary Mustaqur Rahman said that most of the club members and former players are happily contributing to help the club survive.
Former national defender Imtiaz Sultan Jonny said, “Other clubs may suffer due to the casino scandal, but the scandal actually helped Mohammedan rebuild itself.”
Ahead of today’s players’ registration formalities, the club has been decorated with lights. Former players, current ones and the club’s supporters will turn up for the registration at the BFF today with a rally, which will be the first of its kind since 2009.