East Bengal head coach Biswajit Bhattacharya has resigned from his post at the aftermath of the Kolkata side's I-League defeat against Bengaluru FC at the Kanteerava Statium Sunday. The Indian coach gave a detailed explanation on how his decision was fuelled by some officials of the club allegedly backstabbing him.
Bhattacharya guided the Red-and-Golds to their sixth CFL (Calcutta Football League) title in a row last year after an emphatic win against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium. East Bengal were also in the hunt for their first ever I-League title this season, but the defeat against BFC last weekend marred all their hopes.
The former East Bengal player has now revealed he was absolutely disappointed with what was going on in the club's dressing room, and also rued the fact that his opinion was not sought while roping in Chennaiyin FC hotshot Bernard Mendy earlier this year.
"I still can't understand why some members of the team stabbed me in the back. I still can't understand why a couple of faces, who were part of my supporting staff along with one or two footballers, were so enthusiastic to spoil my relationship with the players after we won the Calcutta Football League (CFL)," Bhattacharya was quoted by Goal as writing in his column in the renowned bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.
"There were a few faces in the dressing room who would leak all our discussions to the media. Believe me, I tried hard but couldn't stop them. That's why I have taken this decision to step down. Being a coach for 15 to 16 years now, I know when a coach should take responsibility and leave his post. The club didn't force me to resign. I am leaving on my own," he added.
Bhattacharya said he was looking for a striker ahead of the start of the I-League, and the club officials inisisted on bringing in Mendy. The coach said the former PSG hotshot never performed as per expectations at East Bengal.
"I had told the officials to bring me a positive striker. We searched a lot but ultimately we chose Bernard Mendy. The officials told me he is a utility player. I also agreed to the idea and I will never say the club recruited Mendy without my consent. But we didn't get the chance to make him fit between the I-League matches and he couldn't perform as per expectations," Bhattacharya said.
"But that was a part of it. How were my conversations with Mendy inside a closed dressing room being leaked to the media every day? Even before the Bengaluru FC match, the secret discussions made their way to the public. Arguments and emotions reign every dressing room but where else are they fed to the media?
"Since I have played in East Bengal before, I know the environment was never so bad in the club. It makes me sad how polluted the ambience inside the club has become. However, I will like to stress that whatever I have told is only the tip of the iceberg. If I write about everything, a fight will break out inside the club. I don't want that. Good wishes for East Bengal," he said.
Sanjay Maji will take over the reins of East Bengal in their final two I-League games of the season against Sporting Clube de Goa Friday and against Shillong Lajong April 24.