Sport takes the field today (19), starting at 21:30, to start the Northeast Cup dispute. After being placed for many years as the most powerful team in the region, with the right to the title of the Copa do Brasil and the Libertadores knockout, the Recife team admits that it lost prominence recently and places the title over Ceará as fundamental to rebuilding your image.
The team from Ilha do Retiro has not won this competition since 2014 and, in addition to competing for this trophy, it can now be champion of the State, still has chances to advance to the round of 16 of the Copa do Brasil and dreams of accessing the elite at the end of the season.
The president of Sport, Yuri Romão, highlights in an exclusive interview with the column that the weight of the title drought does not enter the field and admits that, despite wanting the Cup title, the most important thing in 2023 is to be among the top four of the Series B.
“All the championships we compete in are important to us. All are relevant. Winning the Copa do Nordeste title would undoubtedly be very good so that we could once again be protagonists in our region. Serie A has greater weight”, he explained.
“This (not winning the Northeast Cup since 2014) has not been taken into account. What has motivated us is the fact that the team is very united, committed and that we are able to compete on equal terms”, he added.
The opponent of the time is also a rival of the B Series. Ceará is experiencing an even more pressure scenario. Despite being in the final of the competition, the team was eliminated in the Copa do Brasil and sees Fortaleza, its archrival, as a great reference in administration in the region.
Yuri Romão himself agrees that the Leão do Pici phase deserves praise. “Yes, I agree. Sport lost protagonism from the moment it paid more attention to club politics, to the detriment of good administrative and financial practices. Since August 2021, we have been organizing our club, administratively, financially, pacifying politics and planning the future. I have no doubt that the results will show”, he stated.
“Sport’s current management has made a huge effort to remain financially balanced, and thus be able to invest in the football department. The base is classified as one of the support pillars of the club. Our hope is that from 2024 we will have good financial results, in addition to sporting performance”, he added.
Sport has recently carried out studies to study the possibility of becoming a Football Anonymous Society. The director is certain that teams from the northeast will need partners to compete at a high level in Brazil, but he does not believe that the SAF is the only alternative.
“Particularly, I understand that no club in the Northeast will be able to be competitive if it does not have an investment partner. Obviously, each club has its characteristics that differentiate them. We should discuss the creation of the SAF in the middle of the year. Until then, we will still study what is the best format, what model of negotiation should we adopt, if the creation of SAF is approved in the Members’ Assembly”, he concluded.
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