In Sao Paulo, 12 top clubs from Series A and B gathered to resume the Liga para o Brasileiro project. During the meeting, there were nods to a group of 10 first-class teams for ‘Forte Futebol’, even with financial perks and the presence of Atlético-MG, who is in both groups. At the same time, some leaders made it clear that if there was no engagement, they could continue with the group on their own.
The meeting was attended by dignitaries from Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Sao Paulo, Santos, Red Bull Bragantino, Atletico MG, Cruzeiro, Gremio and Internacional. Botafogo was invited and claimed he had no way of participating, but he showed an interest in the league. Its new owner, John Textor, has signaled support – he’s spoken to Rodolfo Landim, of Flamengo, about it.
It was also Ronaldo’s debut as Cruzeiro’s top hat. Despite his presence, Fluminense is a club that is very skeptical of the League’s initiatives – its president, Mario Bettencourt, was not present.
It is the first meeting of all the big teams to discuss the formation of the league since the middle of last year. Meanwhile, there were battles and developments. Now, there is a disguised power struggle between part of the big teams and 10 other teams that make up “Forte Futebol”.
The meeting was organized by Codajas Sports Kapital, which has a contract with six teams (Flamingo and five from São Paulo) to develop the league project. Besides the company, were representatives of BTG, which will be responsible for attracting investments. The two companies gave presentations on the league’s governance model and the possibility of structuring to attract investors.
During the meeting, Flamengo, Palmeiras and Corinthians made speeches that they would make concessions regarding the division of funds. This does not mean, however, an equitable distribution of resources.
There is no set format, but there are ideas on the table. Among them, a difference of 3.5 or 4×1 can be identified between those who earn more and those who earn less. Or it can be determined that present values are guaranteed, with current differences, the ability to distribute what comes from income in a more equal way. There was no such discussion at the meeting. The intent is to leave the topic further and allow everyone to express their opinion.
Discussions focused more on the league’s governance and how to find a common path with a group of 10 clubs in Forte Futebol. Atlético-MG, seen from both groups, is seen as a potential mediator. But there was no practical progress in this union, so there were those who left the meeting in disbelief.
Among the seniors, there were statements that indicated that if the group of 10 clubs is hard-line, they will go alone in their financial project to form the league. There is concern that “rebel rhetoric” could permanently undermine the project. One of the managers present pointed out that without all the teams it could practically be considered a failure of the league.
It was also the first appearance of former striker Ronaldo as a top hat because he is the new owner of Cruzeiro Club. In his participation, the player stressed the need to involve all the teams of the second division in the discussion because the league will be more logical with everyone.
It’s another step to try to put the league on its feet. The question is whether the two groups of clubs will be able to reach an agreement.
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