Mallya sore with Bagan brawls

Kolkata, Oct 2 | Updated: Oct 3 2004, 05:30am hrs
UB chief Vijay Mallya is watching Mohun Bagans game with mounting concern. Ever since he bought the football team in 1998, he has spent around Rs 12 crore although he has not got any mileage for his McDowell brand as he had planned.

Last Sunday, Mr Mallya landed in Kolkata for a meet on tourism, days after rival groups got into a drunken brawl at an elite club. I am very disapointed with Mohun Bagan. They are stuck in a quagmire, Mr Mallya said, on the sidelines of the tourism meet.

I seriously appeal to the members to sort out the problems because their sporting ability is being affected, he said. The UB chief has been paying for Bagans annual recruitments.

However, he is happy with Bagans rival East Bengal, another team he bought in the same year. East Bengal represents UBs Kingfisher brand.

On September 12, rival groups of the 100-year-old Mohun Bagan club ended up brawling in the Calcutta Cricket & Football Club (CCFC) after one drink too mutch.

CCFC officials called in the police, and arrested seven persons despite the intervention of Congress(I) heavyweights like Somen Mitra, president of the West Bengal unit, and defence minister Pranab Mukherjee.

According to Anjan Mitra, general secretary, the ruckus was the handiwork of Balaram Chowdhury, the assistant secretary. Mr Chowdhury, a local television manufacturer, said it was Mr Mitra who had inducted the persons now arrested for brawling.