Mohammedan SC is about to start a new journey after moving past the three-decade era of Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan as a new board of directors headed by former Army Chief General Md Abdul Mubeen is all set to take over the popular club.
The election commission of the old Dhaka outfit yesterday revealed the names of the candidates with General Abdul Mubeen becoming the president of the club uncontested. Sixteen directors among 20 candidates will be elected through Saturday's polls, although there were efforts last night to form a consensus board.
Lokman had been one of the most influential persons behind every decision at the club since 1994 after becoming the general secretary. In 2011, he strengthened his position by becoming director-in-charge after turning Mohammedan into a public limited company. However, he was forced to leave the club when police detained him while busting the casino in the club premises in late 2019.
Lokman has since been out of the picture of Mohammedan's activities but it has been learnt that the veteran organiser, along with others, has been working behind the scenes to form Mohammedan's new board of directors which is mostly composed of the club's proven organisers, businessmen and members of parliament.
There is much anticipation that the new board will help regain the image Mohammedan SC lost in more than two decades as Mohammedan could not win cricket and football league titles since 2009 and 2002 respectively, while there has been sporadic success in hockey.
"I don't want to blame anyone for the failure in the past because it takes a lot of money to run football. We have nothing to do with what we lost in the last 19 years. Instead, I want to look forward to the new committee [board of directors] for a fresh start," said former Mohammedan SC footballer Imtiaz Ahmed Nakib, also the manager of the football team, yesterday.
"Mohammedan had been in the title race 20 years ago but we are now out of all types of races. So, we want a strong committee [board] which can manage money as well as take care of all matters of the club."
Cricket organiser Tariqul Islam Titu is also optimistic that the new board will reprise the glorious past in a couple of years.
"There were hardly any donors in the previous committee despite having a lot of established businessmen. That is why Mohammedan had been in a poor state. Now, I am hopeful that Mohammedan will get back its previous glory in football, cricket and hockey through the new committee [board]," said Titu.
"It is not possible to take the country's football ahead with only Mohammedan or Abahani; we need both clubs to be strong in football. I believe football will get back its life a bit within the next two years," said Titu.
Interestingly, some 31 permanent members bought out some 54 nomination papers but only 21 members submitted their nominations with a view to making a consensus board as most former Mohammedan footballers kept away from the process despite buying nomination papers.
"Regaining the image of Mohammedan is the main matter for us, we have all kept ourselves out of the election process because it is also possible to work for the clubs outside the committee," said former footballer Imtiaz Sultan Jonny, who also believes the casino scandal gave Mohammedan SC a chance for a fresh start.