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Palmeiras 2014

divination.
2013 ends with open ends a plenty. Squad undefined, master sponsor undefined, Allianz Parque inauguration undefined. The Nobre administration has broken new ground in several areas, but palestrinos enter 2014 with more question marks than ever. Rumours are Nobre has chosen Monday 6 January for a batch of announcements. Rumours.

A few new players have been signed, but not yet announced. Some have left or are packing their bags: Vilson, André Luiz, Márcio Araújo, Ronny Amaro, Rondinelly, Ananias, Fernandinho, Bruno and Leo Gago are all considered goners. Some players are returning from loans, most notably Patrick Vieira, João Denoni and Luiz Gustavo. Considering that Palmeiras U20 reached the finals in the Copa do Brasil less than two weeks ago (lost to Internacional), while the U17 won an international tournament, there is room for optimism on the horizon.

Silence is, supposedly, golden. But not all silence. The Nobre administration has not been able to strike a balance between the level of secrecy needed for optimal performance and the openness needed to please supporters near and far: the most blatant example being the Hernán Barcos transfer to Grêmio at the beginning of the season – a deal badly executed and very poorly disclosed to the public.

Early in 2013, hopes were high as winds of change carried promises. Months went by. And the year certainly ends in an anticlimax.

2014 is spelled centenary. Palmeiras, make us proud.

Happy New Year.

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A Brazil Cup title – the club’s first national in 14 years – entitling Palmeiras to a Libertadores Cup spot in 2013. The New Arena under construction, on schedule, and under management of über-competent WTorre and AEG. Palmeiras supporters again and again showing their unconditional love for the team: at innumerous “home” games far from São Paulo; through several top-level book releases about the club’s history; by organising the most genuine and passionate series of events in honour of one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of Brazilian football, São Marcos. Club statutes under modification, setting the foundation for direct election of the president and a progressive instalment of transparency, accountability and professionalism.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? And yet…

2012 goes to the history books as one of the worst years ever for Palmeiras, the year when the glorious Verdão for the second time were relegated to the second division. But what truly stands out is the never before reached levels of incompetence by Palmeiras’ directors. Sure, Palmeiras are known for being a political powder keg and more often than not in the hands of people who place football far down on their list of priorities. That being said, in 2012, our directors made us feel ashamed like never before.

Ashamed for the pathetic attempt to purchase midfielder Wesley through crowd funding, several times lying the Palmeiras supporter straight in the face about the feasibility of the project.

Ashamed for the silent abandoning of a project – initiated under former president Belluzzo – to build a US$ 14 million worth new training centre for the youth academy, all paid for by tax breaks pre-approved to any participating private enterprise.

Ashamed for president Arnaldo Tirone’s complete lack of commitment, brains and leadership, which included the absurd visit to Copacabana beach the day after Palmeiras’ relegation.

Ashamed for vice-president a.k.a. director of football Roberto Frizzo’s senile ways, forgetting to attend important meetings and making untimely jokes that even have players think twice before signing with Palmeiras.

Ashamed for judicial director Piraci de Oliveira’s inability to minimally defend Palmeiras in the Sports Tribunal, but splendid ability of using social media to make passes on young girls or boast about his level of drunkenness on Christmas eve.

2012 has been an embarrassing year for us palmeirenses. We who thought 2011 was bad.

There was the miracle of young José Erasmo, but unfortunately the little soldier didn’t make it in the end, passing away a few weeks ago. Our thoughts go to his family.

2013 is around the corner, and so are the presidential elections at Palmeiras. Perin and Nobre battle it out. We have another 21 days of Tirone and Co. 21 days. Counting them down, one by one.

To all the rest of you, TRUE palmeirenses: a very Happy New Year. Stay safe, stay sane. Stay optimistic. And find joy in your hearts every single day. Because, in the end, we know that victory is ours.

Hope to see a lot of you all in 2013. Abraço!

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2011 proved bad on the pitch and even worse off it. Spit it out and embrace 2012. Not that the near future’s looking that much brighter, but at least it’s a new year. With new opportunities to make things a little more difficult for those doing their best to drag Palmeiras in the mud.

The yanks use to say that it ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings. Let me add: while there are still little kids singing the Palmeiras hymn like in the clip to your right, while there’s blood running in our veins, while there’s still breath in our lungs, Palmeiras – i.e. us supporters, the true core – will stand up to internal and external threats of extermination and rise above and beyond. The institution is larger than all of us and certainly larger than the amateurs currently in charge of it.

2011 fundamentally brought two positive things: the ever accelerating construction of the New Arena and the not only strengthened but also more coordinated political opposition to the archaic rulers and structures within Palmeiras. Maintaining and advancing further in these two areas are key to the fundamental changes that I and many with me envision for the Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras.

Happy New Year to all of you visiting this space! Happy New Year to your families and loved ones! See you all in 2012!

AVANTI PALESTRA! SCOPPIA CHE LA VITTORIA È NOSTRA!

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