Soccer club open to foreign capital

Players from the Vasco Dagama Club (Central, Star Nene Hirario) training in Rio de Janeiro on May 11, 2022
Bascodegama Club (Central, Star Nene Hirario) player training in Rio de Janeiro on May 11, 2022 (Mauropimentel / AFP / Archive)

New legislation for Brazilian football clubs now allows foreign investors to arrive. A breath of economic air for difficult people, even if not everyone has taken the plunge to imitate the European economic model.

For the time being, only the Botafogo and Bascodegama clubs in Rio de Janeiro have non-Brazilian investors from the United States in their capitals.

Former Brazilian stars Ronaldo, Double Ballon d’Or (1997, 2002) and Double World Champion (1994, 2002) have invested in his debut club, Cruzeiro Devero Orizonte.

Opening to foreign capital was made possible by the Brazilian Parliament’s adoption of a change in the legal status of football clubs in August 2021.

From non-profit organizations, they can become a football joint venture (SAF). This is equivalent to the Professional Sports Co., Ltd. (SASP) in France, very close to the classic Co., Ltd., which allows you to attract capital investors. , Paying dividends, paying directors, and even listing the club on the stock market.

These investments contribute to the “improvement of management” of the club and provide “greater competitiveness”. A quote from AFP Pesar Grafietti, a partner of consulting firm Convocados and an advisor for this type of operation.

“Profitable win”

Due to the real depreciation against the dollar and euro, the game is worth the candles, and Brazil’s pool of talent, a major exporter of soccer players, agrees to tell experts.

Former Brazilian Star Ronaldo, interviewed by a reporter in London on October 23, 2017, invested in his former club Cruzeiro.
Former Brazilian star Ronaud, who was interviewed by a reporter in London on October 23, 2017, invested in his former club, Glyn KIRK / AFP / Archives.

Other income, according to Ibope Repucom, could use the enthusiasm of its supporters commercially in a country where 110 out of 213 million inhabitants say they are fans of the local team. Is also possible.

There is no doubt that Brazilian football is a “very likely” market for Cesar Grafietti.

For Basco and Cruzeiro in the second division, and Botafogo, who rose to number one this year, this new money to their capital is a real lifeline in the face of the economic crisis that is rocking local football.

Among them, according to consulting firm Sports Value, they had a debt of $ 442 million in 2020.

However, before investors can distribute dividends to each other, the law provides that debt must first be respected from the profits generated by the new commercial structure.

John Textle of the United States, co-owner of the British club Crystal Palace and the Belgian club Molenbeek, concluded in March that he had purchased 90% of Botafogo’s stake for $ 77 million in three years.

“Soccer is no different from any other business. You have to win to make a profit,” he told CNN in March, signing with Portuguese coach Luis Castro and 12 players.

Aerial view of the statue of Icon Roberto Dynamite of Vasco da Gama at San Janua Rio Stadium, May 13, 2022
Aerial view of the statue of Icon Roberto Dynamite of Vasco da Gama at San Janua Rio Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Mauropimentel / AFP / Archive)

Ronaldo, who already owns Real Valladolid (Spain’s second division), has won 90% of Cruzeiro, the two-time champion of Copa Libertadores, the equivalent of the European Champions League.

American Group 777 Partner, part of Spanish Club Seville and owner of Italian Club Genoa in the process of taking over Red Star’s Paris team, is awaiting verification of the acquisition by Basco’s board of directors1 70% of the stock at $ 135 million.

“Getting closer to Europe”

Sports marketing specialist Rafael Zanet believes that “emergency for financial reasons” has accelerated the activities of the pioneering trio, but their experience is Coritiba, Atletico Goianiense and Athletico Paranaense. It is also useful for people who are trying to develop the capital such as. Champion of Sudamericana-2021 (equivalent to the Europa League).

“Clubs that want to be SAF will be more demanding when it comes to accepting offers,” he said.

According to local media, Part 2 Bahia is currently in talks with Manchester City owner Citigroup and nine other clubs.

Brazilian Champion Club Atletico Minero in Copa Libertadores, Belo Horizonte, May 3, 2022
Brazilian Champion Club Atletico Minero (DOUGLAS MAGNO / AFP / Archives) in Copa Libertadores, Belo Horizonte, May 3, 2022

Brasileirao-2021 Champion Atlético Mineiro does not rule out choosing SAF. But other big clubs like Flamengo, Corinthians and Palmeiras haven’t plummeted.

“They can choose alternatives that don’t necessarily have to deal with a single owner,” says Grafietti, to maintain some control.

According to Zanett, the Brazilian club, which is the winner of four of the last five Libertadores, will further widen the gap with South American clubs.

“Latin America must see the Brazilian market as a benchmark. This is a way to develop to get closer to Europe.” There, huge budgets attract the best Brazilian players.