Instead of meeting expectations by forming a formidable side, Arambagh KS have decided in principle to pull out of the ongoing players’ transfer window for the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League citing financial constraints. Interestingly, Arambagh were one of the clubs recently found to have been involved in illegal gambling.
The club’s doors have remained shuttered ever since Rapid Action Battalion completed a drive against illegal gambling at seven clubs based in Motijheel’s ‘Club Para’ on September 18, just 13 days ahead of the transfer window, which opened on October 1 and is set to close on November 20.
Arambagh president AKM Mominul Haque Shaeed intended to form a strong squad for the upcoming season as the 2018 Independence Cup champions ensured the services of 14 new footballers. In addition, they retained the services of 11 old guns by paying 10 percent of their proposed wages, amounting to about Tk 70 to 80 lakh. They also sent offer letters to three Brazilian and one Uzbekistani footballers in an effort to stun other established clubs.
However Arambagh hit quite the snag indeed when Shaeed, who is now abroad, was reportedly found to have been involved in running an illegal gambling establishment. This put the club in jeopardy ahead of the players’ transfers.
“We requested the Bangladesh Football Federation [BFF] to extend the transfer window for three months [on October 5] following the changing situation in Club Para but the BFF did not accept our appeal and let us know about their decision on October 15.
“So, we have decided in principle to pull out of the transfers because we don’t have any funds to sign players. Besides, there is no environment to make the club functional as it still remains under lock and key. We communicated with the police to open the club but did not get a positive response from them,” a senior Arambagh official seeking anonymity told The Daily Star yesterday.
“So, we have already asked all our players to find new clubs as Arambagh is not going to take part in the players’ transfer this time. We, the club officials, will hold a meeting within a few days and let the football federation know about our official decision to withdraw by October 30,” he added.
In reponse to a query, the Arambagh official said: “It is not possible to even form a mediocre team with the money we already gave the players in advance and we can’t ask them to return the money until they get new contracts either. As far as I know so far, only two or three players have managed to secure new clubs while the others have yet to do so.”
Arambagh coach Maruful Haque also seems to be in hot water though as the three Brazilian and one Uzbekistani players they approached are continuously asking for final contracts.
National discard Nasirul Islam was supposed to sign for Arambagh for the upcoming season but he now finds himself in a difficult situation, finding another club.
“A club official informed me that Arambagh KS won’t form a squad, requesting me to find out a new club. But you know most of the premier league clubs have already formed their respective squads and I don’t know my future,” the right-back told the Daily Star from Nilphamari.
“I am even ready to play for clubs for less money than what I was supposed to get from Arambagh. I want to play football but don’t know whether any club will rope me in this season,” said the defender with sorrow in his voice.