Palmeiras this weekend made a goalless debut in the 2013 edition of the Paulistão against Bragantino. In all honesty, not much else was to be expected as the pieces available to coach Kleina are roughly the same as last year and considering the short pre-season. Positive impressions: returning Souza on the midfield and Prass between the posts. Negative ditto: Luan, Juninho and Márcio Araújo. Valdivia, injured, didn’t play. Sounds familiar?
The São Paulo Championship will definitely be training grounds for Palmeiras. A decent team needs to be but together in order to, with luck, advance to the second stage of the Libertadores Cup while doing the necessary to successfully conclude the Serie B and next year’s ascension.
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Let’s move on to the Copinha – the São Paulo Youth Cup – where the kids once again put on a splendid performance this weekend, beating Cruzeiro 4-2. The Verdãozinho will face Santos on Tuesday night in one of the semi-finals; in the other one Bahia (who trashed Grêmio) and Goiás (eliminated São Paulo in a penalty shootout) battle it out. Check out the highlights below.
Maybe it’s unfair talking about the kids as “the future”: for them it’s very much here and now in their quest for the first Palmeiras title in the Copinha. Nevertheless, my mind constantly wanders to the not too distant future when selected gems from this promising batch are brought up to the major league.
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Talking about the future is however inevitable as Palmeiras’ General Assembly – composed by the 1.948 members who made themselves present on Saturday – ratified the fundamentally important and historical statuary changes relating to the Direct Vote. By the end of 2014, the choice of President lies in the hands of some 10.000 club members instead of the 280-something conseglieri of the Deliberative Council. The so called “filter” remains, as expected, the one unresolved question: none of the proposals reached the necessary 2/3 and thus the topic unfortunately goes back to the Deliberative Council: it is now imperative that all pro-democracy movements join forces in an effort to hinder the DC – and especially the infamous president of the Council Mr Vergamini – from exercising any technical or political manoeuvres that jeopardise the implementation of the Direct Vote.
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And so we all take a deep breath and get ready for the next thrill as the 281 conseglieri tonight cast their votes for club President 2013-2014. The two candidates are Paulo Nobre and Décio Perin, both considered to be in stark opposition to the current administration. The two gentlemen have rather similar agendas, where priorities include handing over key areas of the club’s administration to remunerated professionals, strengthen the club’s brand value and improve marketing, redesign the much criticised supporter membership programme and implement sound financial and fiscal policies. They have diverting opinions on one important question: Nobre is open for the idea of allowing supporters – not only club members – the vote for president in the future, something which Perin opposes.
While the agendas might be similar, the profiles of the candidates are anything but:
Paulo Nobre is 44 years old, a wealthy lawyer turned businessman and a rally driver. He’s a palmeirense through and through with both feet anchored in the stands from an early age. Having been vice-president in 2007-2008, this is the second time he runs for president. His approach seems bold and direct, reflecting his “doer” personality.
Décio Perin is 72 years old, has been actively participating in the life of the club for over 30 years and is a counsellor appointed for life. He’s an experienced economist and business administrator, having previously headed Palmeiras’ sections of Communications (1987-1988) and Marketing 1989-1992). Perin’s well familiarised with Palmeiras’ inner circles and pretends to use this to his advantage to pull through reforms.
By midnight tonight we’re expected to learn who’ll be holding the steering wheel for the next couple of years.
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Due to the extremely turbulent days we are living at Palmeiras, the word is that any eventual player signing will occur only with the new president in office. That goes for Azevedo, Torres and especially Riquelme, who apparently has reached a verbal agreement with Tirone and now awaits Palmeiras’ next move.
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Speaking of Tirone, here goes our most intensively sincere last words to the exiting president, his vice-president aka director of football Frizzo and judicial director Piraci de Oliveira: vanish from the face of the earth you disgraceful, incompetent, pathetic beings.
The above is of course nothing but wishful thinking: Tirone and Frizzo are both conseglieri appointed for life and Tirone will in addition now also become a permanent member of Palmeiras’ Orientation and Fiscal Council (COF). Swell.
Anyway: Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!