Sleeping with the enemy

The constant leakage of insider information to the press is nothing new to Palmeiras. With the passing of time, suspicion has been turning into certainty in regard to which individuals are responsible for almost daily serving journalist with gossip, half-baked truths and not seldom outright lies about the club.

However, things took an unusual turn this morning, when one of the main Brazilian online news portals published a full interview with Gilto Avallone, a member of Palmeiras’ Deliberative and Fiscal Council. The 72-year-old lawyer, who has been a member of Palmeiras’ inner circle for no less than 34 years, proudly announces that he indeed is the main responsible for providing the press with inside information and documents. He sees it as his duties to “expose all that’s wrong within Palmeiras”, and claims that “the lack of transparency” is the biggest problem the club faces.

Avallone being the mole comes as no surprise: he runs a blog where he frequently attacks Palmeiras and the directors, has close ties to ex-president Mustafá Contursi and is a feverish opponent of the New Arena, having personally tried to halt the construction by contesting the legality of the project in the courts. Still, Avallone openly admitting to be an informant is something completely different and rather unique. He obviously feels comfortable enough – perhaps even untouchable – to admit that he passes on monthly financial spreadsheets and other club documents to selected journalists – something most sane persons would consider an elevated level of treason.

In the interview, Avallone also goes after director of football Frizzo and president Tirone, calling Frizzo and ex-friend and both of them persons lacking character.

A forceful response from Palmeiras’ directors is of course in order. Pressing criminal charges might not be possible, but an immediate expulsion from the club is a logical first step, correct? Correct. But don’t expect much in that direction. Asked to comment, Tirone clarified that Avallone is a counsellor of Palmeiras and deserves to be treated with respect. Both Tirone and Frizzo seem more concerned about investigating the origins of a famous note that appeared in the club’s locker room warning people to talk about sensitive issues in Avallone’s presence than cleaning out the proper vermin in the house. Go figure. Italian politics is not for the faint of heart. To be continued.

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11 Comments

  1. Total Bosta de boi. They need to get their act together. If Tirone wants to hang around… O have many doubts about this guy, he needs to get his men in there. I am often amazed by the lack of unity on such issues. I am building in Sao Paulo and eventually it will be my second home… I want to be involved, what steps do I need to take?

    1. Loved the “bullshit” comment, Rafa! And yes, the leadership is weak… Palmeiras need a strong and just hand. Haven’t been much of that lately.

      You talking about becoming a member? If yes, I can direct you to the right people.

      Cheers,
      Kris

      1. Cool. Just one more thing: do you have a Brazilian citizenship? Don’t know if that’s necessary, but it might be (at least in order to be a full member and have the right to vote).

        Cheers,
        Kris

      2. I do not, I am however looking into getting my permanent residency. Once I get that it is 5 years before I can apply for citizenship.

      3. Got it.

        I’ll most likely ask you to talk to someone within the “Fanfulla” group, the Fanfulla being one of the most active progressive/democratic movements within Palmeiras. If you in general terms find yourself agreeing with the “editorial point of view” of Anything Palmeiras, my guess is that you’ll fit right in at Fanfulla. And regardless, the objective here is only to facilitate the process of turning you into a member. The political aspects come later (if at all).

        I’ll be back with a name asap.

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