Sport Recife – The Feel Good Story Of The 2015 Brasileirão

Sport Recife – The Feel Good Story Of The 2015 Brasileirão

Sport Club do Recife (aka Sport) is the feel-good story of the 2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (short form: Brasileirão). With eleven games played this season, Sport, which is located in the state of Pernambuco, part of Brazil's historically poor northeast, as of July 8 were ranked third in the Brasileirão on even points with high spending clubs---the first placed club Atlético Mineiro, and second placed club Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense. While Brazil’s economy in general has slowed down, parts of the northeast have continued to grow. Pernambuco, for example, grew 2.3% in 2012 – more than twice the rate of 0.9 per cent for the rest of Brazil. According to the Financial Times, a major reason for the economic growth of the area is the fact that the state has invested heavily into the local economy, and the state owned Oil Company Petrobras is very involved in local projects. Sport Recife suffered from economic difficulties during the financial downturn in its home state, but the recent growth of the local economy has helped the club significantly. In July 2014 Sport signed a sponsorship contract worth R$ 6 million with Caixa Econômica Federal, the second largest state-owned bank in Latin America. The club used a large part of this money to pay off R$ 4 million in tax debts to the federal government. Sport was also able to restructure a tax debt worth R$ 15 million that it owed the city of Recife. The club is now able to pay back this amount in 96 small instalments. There is an close parallel here between the financial incentives which the Brazilian federal government has provided for the poor northeast region, and the financial relief Sport has received from various state institutions. While the club did receive large sums from government grants, Sport followed through by investing these funds in making much-needed changes. As GolTV Canada reported, Sport Recife’s changes have been primarily directed toward their training facilities, and to their youth development program. Scouts of clubs from the big European teams have long overlooked the Brazilian northeast, and a major reason for this was the fact that clubs like Sport Recife were fairly poor at developing talent. Now with the changes made in its youth development agenda and in the club’s infrastructure, scouts have started to make the trip to Recife. The best example of the success of Sport’s program is the recent transfer of the talented young striker Joelinton, who was purchased by the German Bundesliga team TSG 1899 Hoffenheim for €2.2 million. While Hoffenheim is hoping that Joelinton can take a similar path as Roberto Firmino, who was sold a short time ago by Hoffenheim to Liverpool for €41 million. Sport hopes that Joelinton is the first step for their youth academy---that will provide players for not only the first team, but also that these players will generate transfer profit for the club. The youth academy is crucial to building a solid future for the club, and the new training facilities are important in that they provide players with an environment in which they can succeed. This environment has made it possible for Sport to land players like Diego Souza, who until recently played for Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine. Speaking to GolTV, Souza pointed out that it was the club’s excellent infrastructure that motivated him to sign at Sport rather than at one of the big clubs in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. It will be interesting to see where Sport will finish in this year’s Brasileirão, but no matter what the final result is, the changes in infrastructure at Sport Recife strongly suggest that the club is looking forward to a bright future. By Manuel Veth -

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Sport Club do Recife (aka Sport) is the feel-good story of the 2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (short form: Brasileirão). With eleven games played this season, Sport, which is located in the state of Pernambuco, part of Brazil’s historically poor northeast, as of July 8 were ranked third in the Brasileirão on even points with high spending clubs—the first placed club Atlético Mineiro, and second placed club Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense.

While Brazil’s economy in general has slowed down, parts of the northeast have continued to grow. Pernambuco, for example, grew 2.3% in 2012 – more than twice the rate of 0.9 per cent for the rest of Brazil. According to the Financial Times, a major reason for the economic growth of the area is the fact that the state has invested heavily into the local economy, and the state owned Oil Company Petrobras is very involved in local projects.

Sport Recife suffered from economic difficulties during the financial downturn in its home state, but the recent growth of the local economy has helped the club significantly. In July 2014 Sport signed a sponsorship contract worth R$ 6 million with Caixa Econômica Federal, the second largest state-owned bank in Latin America. The club used a large part of this money to pay off R$ 4 million in tax debts to the federal government.

Sport was also able to restructure a tax debt worth R$ 15 million that it owed the city of Recife. The club is now able to pay back this amount in 96 small instalments. There is an close parallel here between the financial incentives which the Brazilian federal government has provided for the poor northeast region, and the financial relief Sport has received from various state institutions.

While the club did receive large sums from government grants, Sport followed through by investing these funds in making much-needed changes. As GolTV Canada reported, Sport Recife’s changes have been primarily directed toward their training facilities, and to their youth development program.

Scouts of clubs from the big European teams have long overlooked the Brazilian northeast, and a major reason for this was the fact that clubs like Sport Recife were fairly poor at developing talent. Now with the changes made in its youth development agenda and in the club’s infrastructure, scouts have started to make the trip to Recife. The best example of the success of Sport’s program is the recent transfer of the talented young striker Joelinton, who was purchased by the German Bundesliga team TSG 1899 Hoffenheim for €2.2 million.

While Hoffenheim is hoping that Joelinton can take a similar path as Roberto Firmino, who was sold a short time ago by Hoffenheim to Liverpool for €41 million. Sport hopes that Joelinton is the first step for their youth academy—that will provide players for not only the first team, but also that these players will generate transfer profit for the club.

The youth academy is crucial to building a solid future for the club, and the new training facilities are important in that they provide players with an environment in which they can succeed. This environment has made it possible for Sport to land players like Diego Souza, who until recently played for Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine. Speaking to GolTV, Souza pointed out that it was the club’s excellent infrastructure that motivated him to sign at Sport rather than at one of the big clubs in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo.

It will be interesting to see where Sport will finish in this year’s Brasileirão, but no matter what the final result is, the changes in infrastructure at Sport Recife strongly suggest that the club is looking forward to a bright future.

By Manuel Veth –

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