This is certainly a week that Sporting CP fans will want to forget.
First, these was an investigation into corruption led by the club in the handball league. Then, their very own supporters physically attacking players and manager. Now, officials have been arrested for accusations of buying bad performances from opponents.
That’s exactly what you read.
Four people have been accused of corruption and paying players from other clubs to influence results against the Lions.
Several newspapers are covering it today, and although all of them have some very interesting stuff, A Bola is the one who publishes the text messages exchanged between two of these guys.
They have the conversations between agent João Gonçalves and Paulo Silva, the man who is accused of negotiating with other players and arranging for them to make mistakes against Sporting.
A Bola have taken out the name of players who were involved, but O Jogo claims the targets were always defenders or fullbacks, who could make things easier for Bas Dost or Gelson Martins.
The agent offered between €3k and €5k for players to help with results. The conversation published is with a target who became quite angry with the offer when he heard about the amount.
Silva himself wasn’t very happy with the situation, since he had no fixed job and made €500 for each negotiation, according to the claims. There were cases when players didn’t do much, and Sporting were reluctant to pay the players of the middleman.
Operation ‘cashball’ saw 40 police officers raid Sporting’s headquarters on Wednesday, looking for leads. They suspect that eight games of the Portuguese league could have results influenced by these actions. The other two accused were the club’s ‘team-manager’ André Geraldes and his right hand man Gonçalo Rodrigues.
This is another blow to Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho, who is still, amazingly, refusing to stand down. Carvalho has spent much of his time in charge of the club raging against others in Portugal and suggesting that they, mainly Benfica, have enjoyed some sort of help to win matches and subsequent trophies.