Brazilian football clubs on the verge of “burning the ships” – effectively meaning that foreign owners can enter the country

9 February 2021

Photo: PA Images A Botafogo player taking a penalty.

Many Brazilian clubs are struggling with unhealthy balance sheets and debts keep mounting.

Brazil is the only country among the 10 biggest leagues in the world without a professional league body.

Botafogo has began to abandon the non-profit entity status, owned by members, to “Sociedade Anônima”, which is similar to ownership structures prevalent in European football.

Investors from all over the world are looking at the club to see if they should be part of the future ownership and settle debts.

The Brazilian government is playing an active role by providing a legal framework that hands clubs different benefits if they modernize their ownership-status.

Samindra Kunti

In Rio de Janeiro’s working class neighbourhood of Engenho, four legends of the Brazilian game have been cast in bronze at the main entrance of Botafogo’s stadium. While Mario Zagallo controls the ball with the outside of his left foot and Garrincha teases with the ball between his crooked legs, Nilton Santos strikes a dignified pose and Jairzinho celebrates, arms aloft.

The players and their statues are part of Brazil’s cultural heritage and hark back to the 60’s, Botafogo’s hey days when they competed with Pelé’s Santos for the honor of being Brazil’s best team.

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