The rift between eight clubs that signed the statute of the new Brazilian League (LIBRA) and the fourteen remaining of Série A, unhappy with the rush of the meeting scheduled for Tuesday (3), could waste once again the chance to transform the Brazil football.
The justification for the rush, an argument from Flamengo and the five clubs from São Paulo, led by Federation president Reinaldo Carneiro Bastos, is that we cannot wait any longer.
In fact, there is a “now or never.” You can’t spend another decade watching kids here wearing European team shirts and repeating the cliché: “It’s another sport.”
The sport is the same. Leaders are different.
On the other hand, there must be a consensus among the 40 clubs in Series A and B. It is mandatory to start from business principles. Which league works best in the world? The Premier League! How is the money divided? Half of the amount is split evenly, 25% for performance and 25% for visibility.
If this model produces the smallest difference between the first and the last in revenue and results in the best championship on the planet, what’s the problem with copying?
Why the gluttony of snatching 10% of the egalitarian value and sharing only 40% of the money among everyone?
And why sign now with the Codajás group, represented by the lawyer Flávio Zveiter? You don’t have to believe the old man, just tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are. But the Zveiter surname has been squandered by his father and uncle and by years of debatable decisions from battered Sports Justice courts.
The league needs to be directed by professional executives, its statute has to privilege the growth of the product, aim at how much the Brasileirão can be worth in ten years, associate itself with a group that brings an investor capable of injecting more than R$ 2 billion, for 20% of the total.
It’s no use copying England just in the name of its currency, LIBRA, and getting real at the first split meeting. The forty clubs in Serie A and B want to start a new era. For this, a new registry office cannot be created, as the Clube dos Treze was.
It is inevitable not to remember the late Eduardo José Farah. In his room in the old headquarters of the Federation, on Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, downtown São Paulo, Farah received journalists and showed the book “History of Football in Brazil”, by Tomaz Mazzoni.
Farah would open to marked pages and say, “Look here, you say leagues are the solution and Mazzoni shows the division of various leagues in the 1930s. It was a disgraceful mess.” Farah took the divide between amateurs and professionals and tried to blur reality.
For it was Farah himself who created the Rio-São Paulo League, years later.
It came to nothing.
Because the heart of the matter is professionalism. In Italy, the League turned gold into rubbish and Serie A became the fifth European championship in interest. Professional, the Premier League is a model of modernity.
It was born from the revolt of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton, the big five at the time, in 1991. They broke with the old league and built a new model. They joined Sky Sports, raised money from investors and television channels and began in 1992 to build the current successful model. It took time and work.
Perhaps cohesion is impossible. But there needs to be leadership, honesty and entrepreneurial vision. It can’t just be a new way to plunder Brazilian football.
If it doesn’t work this time, it won’t have time to work again.
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