The quest for predictability

One of the worst features of Brazilian society – and consequently reflected in Brazilian football – is the lack of predictability. Rules changes constantly. And when they don’t, the share number of them and their fuzziness lead to uncertainty. In addition, there’s a chronic disregard for rules, in part due to a lack of harmonization of existing ones. Any businessman will tell you about state and federal rules that are incompatible: follow one and, automatically, break the other.

Every so often, rules of the Brazilian championship, the Brazil cup or, especially, any of the state championships change. A little more than a decade ago, this was an effective measure to ensure that the “right” clubs were kept in the competition: if any of the major clubs are relegated, change the name of the competition and tweak a rule or two, then invite them right back in.

The lack of predictability at club level is symptomatic, Palmeiras being no exception. Lately, most of the turbulence has been generated around the Allianz Parque, now 97% completed. It’s of course normal with constructions suffering delays, but it will be almost five years before we see the Allianz Parque completed. Now, once an opening date is picked, you’d better be damn sure nothing will get in your way. The massive expectations surrounding the game against Atlético Mineiro last Saturday – turned to dust by the lack of a complete set of operating licenses – was another indicator of how desperately Palmeiras need directors who can trace an objective and execute, step by step, in an orderly fashion. Blame the constructor WTorre if you want, it doesn’t matter: ultimately, it’s the Palmeiras supporter who takes the wrap. Being so, the responsibility is Palmeiras’.

Pretty, yes. But unfinished. And wrongly timed.
Pretty, yes. But unfinished. And wrongly timed.

Same logic applies to the recent removal of rows of seats and the hastily erected dividing structures – both measures imposed by the police to increase partition between home and away supporters – taking away an astonishing 4.000 seats, almost ten per cent of the total capacity of the stadium, in addition to creating blind spots. How come this was not foreseen? WTorre is clearly not delivering, but Palmeiras have not done their homework either. Where’s all the talk about “FIFA standards” now?

New problems pop up on a daily basis. Palmeiras supporters have been questioning for months why no institutional symbols are to be found on the outside walls of the stadium, as featured on all drawings and models presented by WTorre throughout the years. Only today, an explanation was offered: the size of the Palmeiras badge – or any other badge for that matter – violates municipal laws, falling under the city of São Paulo “visual pollution” act. Couldn’t this have been solved through the obtaining of an exception? Shouldn’t have to take four years and a bit, should it?

With so many problems arising, attention is effectively diverted from the celebration that the inauguration of the Allianz Parque deserves. The problem is further aggravated by a sudden change in the rating of the Avanti supporter programme, a rating that is crucial in determining who will have ticket priority ahead of big games; the Allianz Parque opening game against Sport on 19 October obviously being one of these. It’s almost criminal.

I say drop the whole thing, use the stadium for shows and whatever, but have Palmeiras use it only as of 2015.

Last Saturday, Palmeiras lost 2-0 at home to the Atlético Mineiro bench. With five rounds to go, Palmeiras are no more than five point above the relegation zone. That’s where our focus should be. Starting with Sunday’s derby against The Eternal Enemy SPFC.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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