At the beginning of last week, Palmeiras’ mission was difficult: close the gap – then at six points – to the first team out of the relegation zone (Coritiba) and win at least six out of the remaining ten games. Now, after Thursday’s highly frustrating display against Coritiba and yesterday’s shortcoming against Náutico, nothing but a miracle saves Palmeiras from spending quality time in the Serie B next season.
With the slipknot around our neck and drumrolls filling the air, Palmeiras now leave for Salvador, state of Bahia. Wednesday, 7:30pm at the Pituaçu stadium, the Verdão throw their last chips in the pot as they take on Bahia – the team of former Palmeiras interim coach Jorginho (substituted by Muricy Ramalho in mid 2009, remember) and one of the best performing squads in the second half of the Brasileirão. It’s Bahia’s position we need to take, and beating them on Wednesday means closing the gap to six points with seven rounds to go. Mathematically possible. But is it even sane to believe in a resurrection of the Palmeiras squad?
The squad… What’s left of it, that is. Against Náutico, Kleina was without Valdivia, Barcos, Henrique, Maurício Ramos, Marcos Assunção, Maikon Leite and Daniel Carvalho. Some of these should be back against Bahia (Henrique and Maurício Ramos at least) while others continue vetoed by the medical department or suspended (Thiago Heleno and Juninho). Absentees, absentees…
President Tirone has been more absent than ever. No, absent doesn’t quite cover it: he’s actually gone into hiding. The weekend at the Palmeiras Club House was tense to say the least, with several verbal clashes – some of which escalated to a physical level – taking place between members of political opposites. We saw smaller groups of younger members walking the grounds and forcefully demanding changes; many a conseglieri – and especially those loyal to the current administration and/or tied to former president Mustafá Contursi – came under heavy fire. “Acabou a paz” (Peace is over) was the slogan: no counsellor or director can expect to enjoy a quiet moment at the club if perceived as part of the problem and not the solution.
Conrado Cacace of the Verdazzo is throwing the towel in relation to remaining in the top division and has already refocused on some complicated tasks ahead. How to achieve them he doesn’t know, but among the priorities are:
# the immediate removal of Tirone and the rest of the directors
# the dissolution of Palmeiras’ Deliberative and Fiscal councils
# the formulation of new statutes
# the creation of a transitory governing body
# elections through direct vote taking place in the first semester of 2013.
He continues: “Coupe? Revolution? The name doesn’t matter. Palmeiras can’t wait for the normal turn of events as set out in the current statutes – statutes written up by the same vermin that orchestrated the political scene resulting in the deadlock we’re in today. Out with Mustafá, Frizzo, Tirone, Piraci, Vergamini and all the rest of the responsible. Leave Palmeiras to the palmeirenses.”
— ooo —
I’m away for the rest of the week, heading into the jungle without any access to communication. As there will be no updates in the following days, here’s a little something for you guys to think about: