Cash-strapped Mohun Bagan in fifth place

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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National Football League champions Mohun Bagan is in a mess. Its current position in the National League is a poor fifth and its star player Baichung Bhutia is not in form. The club is dogged by cash crunch. Besides, many of the Bagan players have not come good. The sacking of their coach for what the club calls anti-football activities has not helped matters. Subrata Bhattacharya for many has been the architect of Mohun Bagan, steering the club to 12 titles, including two National Leagues. After being a part of the club for four years, Coach Bhattacharya has been sacked for allegedly instigating the players against the club. "We have got information that the coach instigated the players not to play if they don't get money. This is opposed to the policy of football," said Anjan Mitra, Secretary, Mohun Bagan Club. Bhattacharya however says these allegations are baseless and has even threatened to go to court. "This is totally baseless and unacceptable. I have spoken to my lawyers and if I want I can even take them to court," asserted Bhattacharya. Not surprisingly, Subrata's replacement is trying to keep a stiff upper lip. "I was very upset when I heard he had been sacked. But now I have to continue with the job I have been given. The morale of the team is very low," remarked Shymal Bannerjee, Assistant Coach, Mohun Bagan Club. Though troubled times are ahead for Mohun Bagan, for the moment they have their task cut out, which is to win the remaining two matches in the National League and give themselves at least some reason to rejoice.