Mello to take over at Corinthians with promise of reducing $183m debt

November 27 – Augusto Mello will become the new president of Brazilian giants Corinthians in 2024 after he defeated André Luiz Oliveira in the club’s elections. 

Mello, 59, won the presidential elections and a two-year term garnering 66% of the members’ votes. Oliveira was left stranded with just 34% of the votes. He will succeed current president Duilio Monteiro Alves, who trumped Mello in the 2020 elections.

His victory means the end of the dynasty linked to Andrés Sanchez and his ‘Renovação e Transparência’, a group that led the club since 2007.

“Let’s join hands together and work for Corinthians,” said Mello. “That’s what we want now: a really technical and professional board to get the club out of this situation. No more amateurs. Corinthians are a sleeping giant, but we will wake up.”

Alongside Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo, Corinthians are considered the biggest club in Brazil, but they have fallen on hard times, last winning silverware in 2019 – the state championship of Sao Paulo – and with debts exceeding 900 million Reais ($183 million). Former Brazil manager Mano Menezes is to continue his role as head coach next year.

The club has struggled to pay off the debt on their stadium, which was built for the 2014 World Cup. At the time, Caixa Economica, a state bank, lent 400 million Reais ($81.3 million) to Corinthians, but the total cost of the loan has now increased to 611 million Reias ($124.36 million).

Corinthians have met with the chairman of Caixa Economica in a bid to negotiate a restructuring of the debt with many in Brazil seeing the hand of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva behind the move.

“Corinthians will have the biggest management shock ever seen within this institution, you can be sure of that,” said Mello.

“This time with qualified, technical people. This is a big company and needs professional, qualified people to get the club out of this situation.”

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