Relegation escapees Botafogo plan for a more commercial future

December 13 – Financially challenged Brazilian top tier club Botafogo, is to transition from an association to a corporate structure to professionalise operations. Debt at the Rio club has risen to more than €200 million.

The advisory body of the club approved the proposal unanimously during an extraordinary session, but the decision still requires ratification by the club’s general assembly. The club says it needs an immediate investment of 200 million reais (€44 million) to keep day-to-day operations running, but admitted that current debts will eventually top €200 million.

The club’s new structure will oversee all football operations, and the management of the Nilton Santos Stadium, Botafogo’s ground in the north zone of Rio de Janeiro. Botafogo also wants to construct a training complex, but it remains unclear where the funding would come from.

The decision is significant for the future financing trend of Brazilian clubs, the majority of whom are not owned or managed as businesses. Rather they are associations, whose successive boards more often follow political rather than commercial agendas.

This season Botafogo struggled to make ends meet and salaries were often paid late. Water and electricity was also cut at the club’s training centre in downtown Rio de Janeiro. However, despite some atrocious performances, Botafogo escaped the drop and finished 15th in the table, seven points above the relegation zone.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1580196101labto1580196101ofdlr1580196101owedi1580196101sni@o1580196101fni1580196101