Yesterday night, Palmeiras’ Deliberate Council voted on a number of proposals for statuary change, including the length of future presidential mandates, going from 2 to 3 years, and when to implement the change.
Although extending the mandate per se is an important improvement for Palmeiras, the universal consensus is that one does not alter the rules of an election while at course: very much the case at Palmeiras, where presidential candidates this year have their sights on the 2019-2020 mandate. In late 2016, Galiotte was elected for a two-year mandate (2017-2018), with one re-election allowed. The immediate implementation of an extended mandate would violate the premises on which Galiotte was elected (2+2 years), aggravated by the change occurring during election year.
Nevertheless, the change went through, thanks to the skilful manoeuvrings of Leila Pereira, president of FAM and Crefisa, Palmeiras’ master sponsors.
Mrs. Pereiras’ ascension within Palmeiras is unparalleled. In early 2015, she was unheard of. Today, through the statuary change, she is seen as the natural successor to the 2019-2021 president (read Maurício Galiotte): by extending the upcoming mandate until end of 2021, Mrs. Pereira by a narrow margin becomes eligible, accumulating the necessary years as counsellor to run for president as of 2022.
Not that few of us predicted this scenario from the outset, perceiving how the relationship between sponsor and club rapidly morphed far beyond a commercial contract. Mrs. Pereira entered Palmeiras like a steamroller, unloading a substantial sponsorship contract (Act I) to attain then President Paulo Nobre’s attention. She soon switched sides, aligning herself with infamous former President Mustafa Contursi, who helped her retain a club membership retroactively (Act II). This multi-year membership allowed her to run for a seat in the Deliberative Council, pouring rivers of money into a campaign that resulted in a record vote (Act III). Soon after her seat in the DC was secured, she did away with Mr. Contursi, making sitting President Galiotte her ally, openly supporting the statuary changes (Act IV).
Only Leila Pereira knows what Leila Pereira wants. Reportedly, the Palmeiras / Crefisa/FAM partnership has been very lucrative on both sides, but that does not explain her no holds barred approach in entering Palmeiras. The driving force seems personal. Mrs. Pereira has gone from rich and anonymous to rich and famous in a snap, and is clearly loving it. But for how long will she, and what happens when she doesn’t anymore?
What the future holds is speculative, but Palmeiras seem on a dangerous route. The increased concentration of power is bound to intensify, as Leila Pereira is used to getting things her way. Parties, dinners, trips in private jets… All this and more compose her arsenal of seduction, counsellors dancing according to her pipe.
This morning, I woke up humming to Clapton. …you’ve got me on my knees. …I’m begging, darling please. …darling won’t you ease my worried mind.