A F#@ing Disgrace

Earlier this week, the Brazilian Football Federation announced that six of Palmeiras’ home games in the first half of the 2012 Brazilian Championship will be played in the city of Barueri, in the outskirts of the metropolitan area of São Paulo. According to CBF, the decision was based on a request coming from the club itself. Four of the six games are against traditional and strong teams, including two derbies. Below, the games affected by the change:

17/06 – Palmeiras x Vasco (16:00)
01/07 – Palmeiras x Figueirense (18:30)
15/07 – Palmeiras x São Paulo (18:30)
22/07 – Palmeiras x Náutico (16:00)
04/08 – Palmeiras x Internacional (18:30)
25/08 – Palmeiras x Santos (18:30)

Barueri is located some 30 km far from the city of São Paulo and public transport is precarious, especially at night. Going by car is not a cheap option when considering gas, tolls and other expenses (just parking your wheels will set you back US$ 20). What could possibly justify not using the available municipal stadium Pacaembu, in the centre of the city of São Paulo, but instead the Barueri stadium?

It essentially boils down to Scolari “not liking” the Pacaembu stadium, considering it too closely linked with other teams (especially Corinthians) and the originator of bad vibes and bad luck. Scolari claims not only he but also the players dislike the municipal stadium.

I will at this point provide you with a direct translation of a text that Rodrigo Barneschi of the Forza Palestra blog first published in 2010:

“Palmeiras are a club from the city of São Paulo. The city of São Paulo has a municipal stadium, the Pacaembu.  Palmeiras are the team which most times have been crowned champion at the Pacaembu, even though being in possession of a stadium of their own. Palmeiras were the team that inaugurated the municipal stadium, beating Coritiba 6-2. One of the most glorious episodes in the history of Palmeiras – the “Arrancada Heróica”  [the “Heroic Charge” of 20 September 1942 when a Leader died and a Champion was born – my clarification] – took place at the Pacaembu.“

Personally, I’m not particularly affected by the change of stadiums (although I do have plane tickets for myself and a friend to assist the derby on 15 July and am now in a bit of a limbo) but I’m completely outraged by the lack of respect for Palmeiras’ history and for the hard core of supporters who honour their commitment of attending each and every home game – supporters that are now forced to travel to another city to attend 60 per cent of their team’s “home” games.

Scolari doesn’t like the Pacaembu? Since when should extremely well paid coaches dictate how and where the team he works for should play? Since when is it allowed to brush decades, almost a century of history and tradition aside in the name of superstition and personal preferences? Where’s the respect for the supporters in their thousands who make Palmeiras their lives? Again, president Tirone and the directors show a complete lack of spine and direction. Or maybe they just don’t care. Either option is equally plausible and, unfortunately, not mutually excluding.

It’s been said before and it will be repeated: for a kid to become a Palmeiras supporter in this day and age, he/she needs not only a strong personality but quite some stomach.

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12 Comments

  1. At his last interview (that you can listen to in the link below) Scolari said that he do not own the club, wasn’t his decision. Scolari claims that the decision came right from the directors. Why then? Scolari said that the directors showed in numbers how cheaper it’s to play a game in Barueri Arena. But Scolari isn’t against either, he mencioned the good public at last wednesday night game: 10.000+. In his opinion, a sunday afternoon game would atract even more supporters: 15.000+.

    Well, i don’t know the numbers but i’m sure that isn’t cheaper enough to place the team so far away from the local supporters. But directors could reply with the argument of low public in this season so far, even at Pacaembu.

    Scolari interview: palmeiras.com.br/radioverdao/

    1. Palestrino,

      You’re absolutely right: Scolari is not to blame for the change of stadium, as that decision is totally up to the directors to make. And they have decided according to Scolari’s wish: staying away from Pacaembu. The financial argument exists (although I think it’s invalid) but I sustain that Scolari’s aversion to the municipal stadium (and him passing this on to players) is the main reason for the decision to move games to Barueri.

      Palmeiras’ directors handle Palmeiras like a small team. Battle for small money, change stadiums, use petty arguments to save pennies instead of thinking, planning and acting ahead, acting big. It’s shameful. It’s embarrassing. God I long for new elections (It can’t get much worse than this) and our Arena to stand ready.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment, Palestrino. Volte sempre!
      Kristian

  2. “Palmeiras are the team which most times have been crowned champion at the Pacaembu, even though being in possession of a stadium of their own”. This is a flagrant and blatant lie. Just checking: Palmeiras didn’t win any title between 1974 and 1994. Then the club won the brazilian championship at Pacaembu in 94, that’s true. But then the other titles where won at Parque Antartica or Morumbi, until 1999, wich was the last time Palmeiras won anything important. Corinthians and Santos had won titles in Pacaembu in the last years, the first winning Copa do Brasil and the last Brasileirao (the last match ironically being against… Palmeiras) and Santos won paulistas and the Libertadores. So, my dear palmeirense gringo, i have to tell you that palmeirenses are prone to invent titles and facts that only exists in their heads, like the laughable “Mundial” in 1951.

    1. Sérgio,

      I have no idea which team you cheer for, but I truly hope you don’t treat your team’s history and past glories with the same disrespect as you’re treating Palmeiras’. It’s correct that Palmeiras have few titles in the last 20 years. But did history start in 1974?

      Palmeiras have won 26 titles at the Pacaembu stadium:

      1940 – Taça Cidade de SP [against Corinthians]
      1940 – Campeonato Paulista [against São Paulo]
      1942 – Torneio Início [against Santos]
      1942 – Campeonato Paulista [against São Paulo]
      1943 – Taça Campeões Rio-SP [against Flamengo]
      1946 – Taça Cidade de SP [against São Paulo]
      1946 – Torneio Início [against São Paulo]
      1948 – Taça Campeões Rio-SP [against Vasco]
      1948 – Taça Cidade de SP [against Corinthians]
      1950 – Taça Cidade de SP [against São Paulo]
      1950 – Campeonato Paulista [against São Paulo]
      1951 – Torneio Rio-SP [against Corinthians]
      1951 – Taça Cidade de SP [against São Paulo]
      1958 – Torneio Início [against América]
      1959 – Campeonato Paulista [against Santos]
      1959 – Torneio Roberto Ugolini
      1960 – Taça Brasil [against Fortaleza]
      1960 – Torneio Roberto Ugolini
      1963 – Campeonato Paulista [against São Paulo]
      1965 – Torneio Rio-SP [against São Paulo]
      1966 – Campeonato Paulista [against São Paulo]
      1967 – Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa [against Grêmio]
      1972 – Torneio Laudo Natel [against Portuguesa]
      1972 – Campeonato Paulista [against São Paulo]
      1993 – Torneio Rio-SP [against Corinthians]
      1994 – Campeonato Brasileiro [against Corinthians]

      Sérgio, I would advise you to check your facts and think twice before calling someone a liar – unless, of course, you want to show off as a flagrant and blatant example of a history-less and arrogant man.

      Sincerely,
      Kristian

  3. And three other things: first, the name of the city is BaruEri, not BaruAri; second, Barueri it’s part of the greater São Paulo’s metropolitan area, not the interior of the State. And finnally, there are two CPTM train stations attending the city. It’s not ideal, but it’s a proper transportation alternative.

    1. Sérgio,

      Thank you for your clarification; the name and the location has been duly corrected.

      In regard to transportation: “not ideal” is an understatement when considering cramming supporters of two rivals like Palmeiras and São Paulo, into the same wagon. And I’m not even mentioning that there are no public transport available to return to São Paulo in case of a 21:45 game night (luckily, none of the six contemplated games have such a late start this time).

      Regards,
      Kristian

  4. I want to start off by saying that I have been reading this site for a bit now and have decided to start leaving posts.

    You have a great site Kristian, keep up the good work.

    I love Pacaemby stadium. I saw my first ever game there with my father right before my 4th birthday and was hooked with that place. From there, I have see several other games, important ones too. 12 games in all ( i know, not much for some but keep in mind I am 33 years old and I have been in the states since 1986, however I did go back to Brazil for some important finals. ) the one game that stands out to me, being live in that stadium was the second game we played against Guarani in the Semi finals in which Palmeiras won 3×1. 40 thousand strong easily and that crowd was just vibrant. I have never heard a louder stadium when the crowd gets involved. I Remember after Zinho made it 2 nothing, that place was ROCKIN!!! everyone was singing together, screaming the Anthem and other songs until Evair rockets a low shot from the 18 to make that place EXPLODE…..I went deaf for a minute. everyone yelling GGGOOOLLLLLLL at once.

    Sorry I went on with that but I was trying my best to describe what I felt that day to those who were not able to attend or even watch on TV experience what I did that day. I have been to plenty of games in Parque Antartica, even the 99 Libertadores final, even the 4×0 against that incredible Vasco team in 2000 with Edmundo and Romario to win the Rio-SP with a packed Morumbi stadium, however nothing compares to what happened that day in 94 at Pacaembu stadium.

    Look, I really enjoyed going to that place, more than any other stadium I have been to. even the stadiums here in the States do not compare to Pacaembu, so to move our games to Barueri is an outrage. they need to revisit that ASAP. our directors are pathetic and cant run a team for Sh*t.

    thank you

    torcida que canta e vibra……

    Louie Morelli

    1. Dear Louie,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to not only stop by but to share with us your special moments at the Pacaembu. You’re a witness of he magic that have been taking place there and know better than anybody that there’s nothing anti-Palmeiras with that stadium. We’ve made it OURS so many times in history. Throwing that away is like turning your back on and all the club’s glories. I wish I were able to say I’d been “only” 12 times at the Pacaembu… I’ve been only once. More to come, though. More to come.

      Hope to see you a lot around here. Take care and avanti always!
      Kristian

  5. I couldnt find something that really shows the intensity of the crowd. It does show glimpses of what was going on that day. just look at the crowd on the Evair goal. everyone jumped at the same time. it was incredible.

  6. All I can say is that I miss Palestra Italia so much! But you have to agree that Barueri is more rentable than Pacaembu.

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