September 19 – Fortaleza might become the next Brazilian club to adopt the SAF model (that allows for private investment and ownership) with a vote among members scheduled at this weekend’s extraordinary general assembly.
Members will vote on a change in legal status for the club, shifting away from the not-for-profit model to a limited company model. Club president Marcelo Paz has said that the club does not seek to attract investors immediately.
“Why would it be good for Fortaleza to become a SAF? Because it allows easier transit in the financial market, simplifying operations such as investments and loans,” said Paz.
Talks about moving to a SAF model began last year with the idea of selling 15% of the club under the new model to an investor, but that plan has been reportedly shelved for now.
Neither does Fortaleza envisage having a majority stakeholder in the future like Botafogo and Vasco da Gama, who moved to the company model and allowed John Textor and 777 to take over the respective clubs.
In 2021, Brazilian legislators introduced the SAF (Sociedade Anônima do Futebol) to improve the governance and financial management of Brazilian football clubs, which laboured – and still labour – under a mountain of debt.
Botafogo and Vasco were among the early adopters of the model.
In the meantime, Bahia, owned by City Football Group, Coritiba and Atletico Mineiro are among the other clubs to have shifted to the limited company model. It allows for foreign investment and demands greater accountability from clubs in terms of financial management, but at the same time, debt restructuring remains part and parcel of the game.
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