The announced meeting between members of the Fanfulla political group and directors of Palmeiras took place last Friday as expected. Conrado Cacace of the always excellent Verdazzo participated in the meeting and has reported on a few new and important details regarding the Barcos negotiation. In short, the following is what you need to know in order to evaluate if the transfer makes sense or not:
Barcos was not happy at Palmeiras. His (legitimate) concerns about second division play and how that would influence his chances of being called up for the Argentine national squad were well known. However, Barcos is no Judas30 but a professional on and off the pitch, never having disrespected Palmeiras.
Barcos was without receiving salaries, including a retroactive raise, since October.
Already in 2012, Grêmio had shown interest in the striker. A second approach caught his interest as Palmeiras’ lawyers issued a warning to the club’s directors: Barcos, due to having several months of outstanding salaries, could probably revoke his contract and sign with any other club, leaving Palmeiras empty handed.
Faced with this scenario, Nobre and Brunoro chose to initiate negotiations with Grêmio. But they had to do it fast: the gauchos only wanted Barcos if they could use him in the Libertadores Cup, enlistment deadline only a few days away.
Palmeiras, holder of 70% of Barcos’ economic rights, told Grêmio they were willing to sell 55% for R$ 10,6 million (roughly US$ 5,3 million). Grêmio couldn’t or wouldn’t cough up that kind of cash, but did agree on the overall amount, instead offering players on loan as part of the deal. Palmeiras, in need of a stronger squad, accepted the proposal. Thus, the following agreement was reached:
Grêmio would lend five players to Palmeiras in a transfer estimated at US$ 2,5 million: Vilson, Rondinelly, Leandro, Leo Gago and Marcelo Moreno would all come for one year. If any or several of these refused to transfer, Palmeiras could try another corresponding player from the Grêmio squad or, in case of another failure (player refusal or veto by Grêmio’s technical committee), receive a predetermined percentage of the economic rights of the player originally offered to the club as payment.
The remaining R$ 8,1 million of the transfer fee would be paid in the following way: R$ 4 million in cash to Palmeiras; R$ 1,3 million to LDU (Palmeiras’ debt); R$ 1 million to Barcos (Palmeiras’ debt); and 15% of the economic rights of Marcelo Moreno (these 15% estimated at R$ 1,8 million).
With the deal sealed between the clubs, Barcos quickly signed and left for Porto Alegre, while Palmeiras opened negotiations with the batch of Grêmio players. These negotiations happened under a fierce storm of protest, as the loss of Barcos in return for God-Knows-Who hit the news-stands. By many a supporter, Nobre and Brunoro were deemed incompetent beyond even former president Tirone’s magnitude. The duo responded by focusing on work (i.e. the negotiation of players) and was nowhere to be found, further stirring the frustration of supporters.
As of today, four players have arrived, while Moreno is still uncertain. In case he doesn’t transfer, Palmeiras will receive an additional 20% of the player’s economic rights on top of the already 15% included in the deal, totalling 35%.
One more important detail: in the case of any of the players on loan being sold during or immediately after their passage at Palmeiras, the club have the right to 15% of that player’s economic rights.
Perhaps Barcos wouldn’t have gone down the judicial road in any case.
Perhaps Palmeiras could have asked for and gotten more money for him.
Perhaps Palmeiras could have raised cash and paid all the debts, forcing Barcos to stay and play for the club.
Perhaps Nobre’s and Brunoro’s fast action saved Palmeiras from the ultimate humiliation: Barcos leaving for free.
With the cards on the table, I’m personally convinced that Nobre and Brunoro acted with Palmeiras best in mind and made the right choices. A team cannot depend on a single player, however motivated he may be. And when not that motivated…
The only thing to lament was the lack of information to press and supporters, unnecessarily creating tension – even hostility – toward a new management that need all the support it can get.
We see this again and again, especially at Palmeiras: information and transparency – or rather the lack of – is root to many of the problems. Will we ever learn?