Posts Tagged ‘happy new year’

2013 was the year of recovery, the year of financial austerity, the year of reforms (including the remodelling of the youth academy and extinction of Palmeiras B, financial separation of the football division/social club, improved internal management procedures, etcetera) and, of course,  the year Palmeiras had but one mission on the pitch: return to the first division. And so, it happened.

As 2014 finally kicked off, we all knew the legacy of financial havoc from previous administrations would still bear its mark on this one. We all knew that effects from abovementioned reforms would not all be visible quite yet. Nevertheless, palmeirenses dreamt of a return to glory, to a strong squad, to a place to call home with the reopening of  the Allianz Parque. The year of the Centenary would go down in history.

And it certainly did. But for all the wrong reasons.

President Paulo Nobre’s hands-on approach proved once and for all he knows nothing about football: no less than 50 players pulled on the Palmeiras jersey in 2014, while four different coaches had their go. How’s that for planning? Combined with a  disastrous handling of several player contracts – culminating in the exit of fixed star Alan Kardec to rival SPFC and the recent near loss of promising Gabriel Jesus – obviously there was a price to pay. In the year of the Centenary, Palmeiras escaped relegation – in what would have been a third  in 12 years – by a whim of destiny. Never before in the history of the Brazilian Championship have a team escaped the cut after finishing the 38 rounds with 40 points.

Paulo Nobre got three things right in 2014: a) He never backed down against WTorre, fighting for every inch in the contract. Correctly so: the “partner” in constructing and managing the Allianz Parque has shown over and over again it can’t be trusted. b) He refused to anticipate future revenues for spending in 2014, breaking the vicious circle tormenting most football clubs in Brazil: immediate results is all that counts, while the succeeding president is left to his own advice – and normally repeats the operation. c) Nobre was able to completely restructure Palmeiras’ debts, taking up loans at a third of market rates so the club could pay off debts with high interest rates and/or short maturity: this operation alone is expected to save Palmeiras some US$ 120 million over the years to come.

It’s important to make clear that while the first two points are what they are, the third was only possible due to Paulo Nobre being very, very rich: his personal assets, trust funds and connections allow for these kind of financial operations.

Personally, I would say that one of the most positive aspect of 2014 was the way Palmeiras supporters backed up the team, no matter what. 

What can we hope for in 2015? Three things: a) That Palmeiras, now with 90% of the year’s revenues available, make assembling the strongest possible squad a priority. b) That Paulo Nobre not only learns to listen more, but flatly keeps his hands off the football department, delegating as much as possible to the new CEO Alexandre Mattos. c) That palmeirenses turn the Allianz Parque into the cauldron it has the capacity to be, over and over again.

And me? In 2015, I hope to see you all frequently here at Anything Palmeiras: reading, commenting, sharing. It’s been a pleasure, it’s always a pleasure serving you with the latest news on Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras. Together, we enlarge our club. We enlarge Palmeiras.




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Palmeiras 2014

2013 ends with open ends a plenty. Squad undefined, master sponsor undefined, Allianz Parque inauguration undefined. The Nobre administration has broken new ground in several areas, but palestrinos enter 2014 with more question marks than ever. Rumours are Nobre has chosen Monday 6 January for a batch of announcements. Rumours.

A few new players have been signed, but not yet announced. Some have left or are packing their bags: Vilson, André Luiz, Márcio Araújo, Ronny Amaro, Rondinelly, Ananias, Fernandinho, Bruno and Leo Gago are all considered goners. Some players are returning from loans, most notably Patrick Vieira, João Denoni and Luiz Gustavo. Considering that Palmeiras U20 reached the finals in the Copa do Brasil less than two weeks ago (lost to Internacional), while the U17 won an international tournament, there is room for optimism on the horizon.

Silence is, supposedly, golden. But not all silence. The Nobre administration has not been able to strike a balance between the level of secrecy needed for optimal performance and the openness needed to please supporters near and far: the most blatant example being the Hernán Barcos transfer to Grêmio at the beginning of the season – a deal badly executed and very poorly disclosed to the public.

Early in 2013, hopes were high as winds of change carried promises. Months went by. And the year certainly ends in an anticlimax.

2014 is spelled centenary. Palmeiras, make us proud.

Happy New Year.

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A Brazil Cup title – the club’s first national in 14 years – entitling Palmeiras to a Libertadores Cup spot in 2013. The New Arena under construction, on schedule, and under management of über-competent WTorre and AEG. Palmeiras supporters again and again showing their unconditional love for the team: at innumerous “home” games far from São Paulo; through several top-level book releases about the club’s history; by organising the most genuine and passionate series of events in honour of one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of Brazilian football, São Marcos. Club statutes under modification, setting the foundation for direct election of the president and a progressive instalment of transparency, accountability and professionalism.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? And yet…

2012 goes to the history books as one of the worst years ever for Palmeiras, the year when the glorious Verdão for the second time were relegated to the second division. But what truly stands out is the never before reached levels of incompetence by Palmeiras’ directors. Sure, Palmeiras are known for being a political powder keg and more often than not in the hands of people who place football far down on their list of priorities. That being said, in 2012, our directors made us feel ashamed like never before.

Ashamed for the pathetic attempt to purchase midfielder Wesley through crowd funding, several times lying the Palmeiras supporter straight in the face about the feasibility of the project.

Ashamed for the silent abandoning of a project – initiated under former president Belluzzo – to build a US$ 14 million worth new training centre for the youth academy, all paid for by tax breaks pre-approved to any participating private enterprise.

Ashamed for president Arnaldo Tirone’s complete lack of commitment, brains and leadership, which included the absurd visit to Copacabana beach the day after Palmeiras’ relegation.

Ashamed for vice-president a.k.a. director of football Roberto Frizzo’s senile ways, forgetting to attend important meetings and making untimely jokes that even have players think twice before signing with Palmeiras.

Ashamed for judicial director Piraci de Oliveira’s inability to minimally defend Palmeiras in the Sports Tribunal, but splendid ability of using social media to make passes on young girls or boast about his level of drunkenness on Christmas eve.

2012 has been an embarrassing year for us palmeirenses. We who thought 2011 was bad.

There was the miracle of young José Erasmo, but unfortunately the little soldier didn’t make it in the end, passing away a few weeks ago. Our thoughts go to his family.

2013 is around the corner, and so are the presidential elections at Palmeiras. Perin and Nobre battle it out. We have another 21 days of Tirone and Co. 21 days. Counting them down, one by one.

To all the rest of you, TRUE palmeirenses: a very Happy New Year. Stay safe, stay sane. Stay optimistic. And find joy in your hearts every single day. Because, in the end, we know that victory is ours.

Hope to see a lot of you all in 2013. Abraço!

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2011 proved bad on the pitch and even worse off it. Spit it out and embrace 2012. Not that the near future’s looking that much brighter, but at least it’s a new year. With new opportunities to make things a little more difficult for those doing their best to drag Palmeiras in the mud.

The yanks use to say that it ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings. Let me add: while there are still little kids singing the Palmeiras hymn like in the clip to your right, while there’s blood running in our veins, while there’s still breath in our lungs, Palmeiras – i.e. us supporters, the true core – will stand up to internal and external threats of extermination and rise above and beyond. The institution is larger than all of us and certainly larger than the amateurs currently in charge of it.

2011 fundamentally brought two positive things: the ever accelerating construction of the New Arena and the not only strengthened but also more coordinated political opposition to the archaic rulers and structures within Palmeiras. Maintaining and advancing further in these two areas are key to the fundamental changes that I and many with me envision for the Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras.

Happy New Year to all of you visiting this space! Happy New Year to your families and loved ones! See you all in 2012!


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