Bhaichung Bhutia held a meeting with Apurba Saha, chairman of the Pailan Group last week and offered to take over the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) developmental side Pailan Arrows.
Given that the Arrows and the AIFF were involved in a financial tussle with the former accusing the latter of not having paid INR 44 lakhs for the academy in their premises, Bhutia suggested that he is keen to help the club survive in the top division league as it would help the players improve further as a unit.
“What I read was that Pailan Arrows cannot have the team because of finance and they had one more year to go. I said why can’t United Sikkim can take over Pailan Arrows and keep the developmental squad. These boys when they go to different clubs, they may not get to play again. Out of 28 Pailan Arrows players, only three or four would be playing. Rather than that we are okay to take over Pailan Arrows and have the development squad playing as Pailan Sikkim.
However the United Sikkim co-owner went on to suggest that the AIFF need not exempt them from relegation as has been the case so far.
“We will continue to fight relegation as we do not want the no relegation rule,” he mentioned.
Bhaichung stated that the ball is in Pailan and AIFF’s court and he is awaiting their response on the mooted idea.
“Pailan have a contract with the AIFF and they need to sort out that with them. I have offered this idea to Pailan and AIFF as well. If they are open about it, they can call us for a meeting,” he suggested.
“(With us coming in) you take the load out of Kolkata as we have 5 clubs from the city. We are just trying to help. It’s not easy for us also to invest that kind of money.”