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Posts Tagged ‘carlos alberto’

While the signing of Carlos Alberto on Sunday took an unexpected turn, then crashed and burned (officially the player’s salary demands were incompatible with Palmeiras’ offer but it’s widely known that a possible/probable chronic injury was confirmed in his pelvic region) we yesterday had the first glimpses of Daniel Carvalho in Verdão’s training gear (to the left, with also newly contracted Román on the right). A bit out of shape, the attacking midfielder was involved in a swap with Atlético/MG where the Belo Horizonte team were allowed to keep Pierre provided that they also presented an undisclosed amount of money in addition to handing over Carvalho. While Pierre signed a three-year contract with Atlético, Palmeiras are taking it a bit slower with Carvalho: the contract runs until December with the option of a two-year extension.

28-year-old Carvalho is a good player, skilful. His best moments so far were while playing for CSKA Moscow, where he won eleven trophies between 2003-2008. He’s served the Brazilian national team. Let’s see if he’s capable of resurrecting in the hands of Scolari and in the Palmeiras jersey.

— ooo —

Palmeiras. Eight times Brazilian champion. One of the “Big Four” in São Paulo.

If we’d look only at national titles won the last 15 years, sustaining that Palmeiras is still “big” would prove impossible. While the three other major teams in São Paulo compile 25 titles in the Paulista, the Copa do Brasil and the Campeonato Brasileiro since 1997 (Corinthians 11, Santos 7, SPFC  7), Palmeiras have won 2 titles: one Paulista and one Copa do Brasil (which, important to stress, eventually led to the Libertadores Cup title in 1999). Still, the last decade and a half has not been much to brag about for any palmeirense.

Fortunately Palmeiras are still “big” because they remain in the top division; because of their glorious past; because of their large supporter base. But the brand is deteriorating, i.e. losing value, by the day. It’s no coincidence that drafting new players has proven an ever more difficult task. No coincidence that Palmeiras are starting up the season without a major sponsor. No coincidence that results on the pitch are disappointing to say the least. The club is run by amateurs and their legacy – decades of mismanagement – is starting to affect the very core of the institution.

A few weeks back, Marcelo Santa Vicca made convincing arguments in an article posted on Verdazzo. The article is based on recent research carried out by leading market analysts. Below you find key points taken from Vicca’s article – with a few comments of my own interlaced – illustrating the problems that Palmeiras are facing.

GFK Custom Research Brazil
People were asked to judge a team’s correlation with 13 different qualities listed, including intelligence, authenticity, trustworthiness, education, honesty, sophistication, charm, bravery, etc. Palmeiras ranked low, almost bottom low, in ALL categories. Out of the teams surveyed, only Vasco da Gama had a score comparative (i.e. equally low) to Palmeiras’. This shows that Palmeiras are bad at unveiling and spreading knowledge about the club’s past and present, which is packed with outstanding examples of positive, brave and ethical conduct.

BDO/RCS yearly study on brand value
The company uses 18 variables to measure and rank football brands. Ever since the first survey in 2004 Palmeiras have held fourth position, but the problem is that the gap to lower ranking teams is closing in while the top three are moving further away. It’s also worth noticing that teams with considerable weaker brands (and with less revenues) in the last years have succeeded in assembling stronger teams than Palmeiras.

Pluriconsultoria’s study on player value
Here it gets really ugly: of the teams that remained in the first division after the end of last year’s Brazilian championship, Palmeiras’ squad showed the worst appreciation index of them all: less than 0.5 per cent. In comparison, Vasco’s squad appreciated 23 per cent, Corinthians’ 17 per cent and SPFC’s 5 per cent. Santos’ squad is valued at a little over US$180 million: three times that of Palmeiras’. And when we take into account that Santos have inferior revenues and a much lesser supporter base than Palmeiras…

BDO/RCS study on club income
In 2010 Palmeiras cashed in US$78 million, the fourth largest revenue among Brazilian clubs. We could compare this to Vasco da Gama’s US$46 million (comparing with Vasco is good; they are a team with roughly the same number of supporters and also on the Rio/SP axis). Palmeiras’ revenues were 70 per cent higher than Vasco’s and the Palmeiras brand has an estimated value of 178 per cent of Vasco’s. Even so, Vasco in 2010/2011 put a team together that in the end was worth 49 per cent more than the Palmeiras squad, won the Brazil Cup and finished as runner up in the Brazilian championship.

Football business in Brazil is underdeveloped: a recent study conducted by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation found that in 2010, football generated US$6.1 billion in revenues. However, if the administrative structure in Brazil would resemble the European, a whopping US$34.4 billion could have been generated. In addition, the study concludes that Brazilian football teams on average generate only 29 per cent of their potential revenues. That being said, it is clear that a process of professionalism is happening in Brazilian football but that Palmeiras, as highlighted by the studies presented above, have failed to connect.

When will Palmeiras be run like a company and not a condominium board?

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Everything shrinks in proportion to Marcos’ announcing his retirement. Still, a few things from the last two weeks that went by are worth noticing.

Kassab visits the New Arena
São Paulo mayor Gilberto Kassab visited the New Arena construction site in late December together with Palmeiras president Arnaldo Tirone and representatives from the construction firm WTorre. The reason for the visit was convincing the mayor of the importance to dismiss a few bureaucratic formalities that today hinder the expansion of the planned parking lot (from a thousand to roughly three thousand parking spaces) as well as the demolition of a specific part of the old Palestra Italia stands (without going into much detail: today the New Arena is formally a “renovation”, meaning that parts of the old stadium necessarily need to remain; WTorre and Palmeiras wish to redefine the New Arena as a “new construction”).

Kassab promised to study the case and signalled that he could have it solved by February. If that if fact would happen, the final price tag will drop and the Arena could be finished up to four months ahead of schedule.

Players arriving…
In mid November Scolari asked for “steak and shrimp” in 2012, meaning some quality players to work with. Let’s see what’s arrived on Palmeiras’ menu so far, shall we?

Marcos Paulo – the 19-year-old midfielder from São Paulo-based club Mogi Mirim will start in the Palmeiras B squad. At 1.85 and 76 kilos, the kid seems also to have a good head on his shoulders. It’ll be interesting to follow his development; good luck to him.

Juninho – the left-winger replacing Gabriel Silva (Udinese/ITA) was officially introduced to the squad on the day of Saint Marcos’ retirement. Straight from Figueirense – where he had a very good year and was elected one of the three best left-wingers in last year’s edition of the Brazilian championship – the 21-year-old from Bahia is now on a three-year contract with Palmeiras. Good luck, Juninho.

Adalberto Román – yesterday Palmeiras also confirmed that Paraguayan defender Adalberto Román is arriving. The player is currently with River Plate/ARG but found himself out in the cold after having committed a stupid penalty that sealed River’s relegation to the second division. Román will join Henrique, Leandro Amaro, Maurício Ramos and the recently promoted Wellington, occupying the place left by Thiago Heleno who underwent surgery in both his feet and will not be back until April/May. The contract is for a year, with the option of buying the economic rights of the player at the end of 2012.

Carlos Alberto – apparently everything is set for the arrival of the offensive midfielder currently belonging to Vasco da Gama but on loan to Bahia due to disciplinary problems in the Rio de Janeiro club. Carlos Alberto didn’t do too well at Bahia either, scoring no goals, making no assists and spending half of the championship in the medic’s department.

The funny thing is that the charismatic troublemaker, who in 2008 managed to get himself kicked out of São Paulo Futebol Clube, has a rather impressive CV: in 2004 he won the Portuguese League and the Champions League with FC Porto under José Mourinho before moving back to Brazil and becoming Brazilian champion with Corinthians in 2005. He also won the Brazil Cup with Fluminense in 2007.

Carlos Alberto is 27 years old and certainly an above average footballer when he sets his mind to it. The question is: will he? He might. Who knows he finds joy side by side with Valdivia in 2012. Details on his contract have not been made public, but if the price is right it could be worth a shot, although it’s a long shot indeed.

— ooo —

What bothers me is not so much Carlos Alberto himself, although I do consider him a high risk investment and potentially dangerous for the social environment of any football club. No, it’s the procedure of getting to him that drives me crazy. Would you believe me if I told you that Palmeiras’ director of football Frizzo was chatting away with an old friend in the interior of the state of São Paulo and this friend told him about this other friend, who is a pastor, who had spoken well of Carlos Alberto due to knowing him from church? Frizzo started pushing buttons and shortly after meeting with Carlos Alberto face to face decided to go ahead and contract him (no wait, I’m being unfair: apparently, Frizzo also called his son to check his reaction). End of story.

My friend Ivan Fadel gave me this book, “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis, and it’s currently serving as my bedtime literature. The book tells the story of how science and statistics revolutionised baseball in the USA. Today, and in any sport, the tools available to thoroughly analyze every game component, every player, every kind of strategy can be backed up by tons of data. And should be. The competitive edge that knowledge provides is priceless, especially in times when even mid-range coaches and players are demanding US$ 200.000/month pay checks.

At Palmeiras, Frizzo the football director picks up any player nominated by a friend of a friend…

I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but AVANTI PALESTRA.

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