Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
Elections at Sporting, 23 March 2013
A bit less than two years after the last time Sporting's sócios were called to chose who should lead the club, we are back to the ballots.
Godinho Lopes managed the unthinkable: he could be even a worse president than José Eduardo Bettencourt. He failed all his electoral promises, something that could only surprise those deluded idiots that expected a list full of big egos and void of any sort of strategy to lead the club back to the top. He refused the label of "candidate of the status quo" but he did all he could to prove himself wrong. He increased the already humongous deficit, he bought a shit load of foreign players with the help of very dubious third party funds, he fired three coaches, he saw virtually all his board members resigning one after the other, and he leaves the club 6 points adrift from the 5th place, its worst ever league table position.
Nevertheless Sporting is still alive. Through the initiative of two young sócios, a petition was made to call for an extraordinary general assembly with the sole purpose of kicking out the board of directors. When the president realised that he was going to suffer an humiliating defeat, he agreed to resign and call for new elections.
What is impressive is that after all this there are still people in the club that are afraid of change. Surely those that since 1995 have transformed the club into a playground of shady deals are not interested to see the golden eggs' hen being slaughtered. They are even less interested in having a real audit being made to all the dodgy financial transactions cooked during the last 18 years. The banks are obviously even less interested in losing their grip over the club and last but not the least, FC Porto would hate to see their strategy of weakening one of the two Lisbon rivals crumbling like a sand castle.
All the above will surely present a candidate, who will no doubt be disguised as "independent and credible". They will use their usual dirty propaganda machine helped by just about all the big media outlets in the country. In the end if that fails, they will try the last resource, the same one used to win the last elections, "tuning" the ballots.
The opposition will once again be divided and I wouldn't be surprised that 4 or 5 candidates will appear, but the only real alternative seems to be once again the young Bruno de Carvalho. In the last elections he got more sócios voting for him than for the elected president, but the ludicrous voting rights system and the above mentioned last minute "tuning" of the ballot boxes denied him victory. Yesterday he announced to the press that he will run again but this time he will not introduce any new coach nor players. It remains to be seen if he will say who will be the investors that will inject the very necessary cash into the club. If he fails to do it I don't think he will have many chances.
It will be an historical day for the club, no matter what happens.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”