Between the rising value of footballers' passes and UEFA's revenues, the coach was responsible for nearly €900 million entering SAD's coffers. The bad news is that Sergio Conceicao's contract has expired and the erosion of officials at FC Porto Sade is increasing.
“It is not enough to have a contract, you have to feel for the club. Having a contract is not important.” Sergio Conceição's statement in the last press conference did not clarify whether or not he would renew his contract with FC Porto, and in the interview Pinto da Costa gave to SIC in November, the historic president of the “Dragon” left the question in light of the above. -The moment of the election is that the club is: “Is there anyone who will renew without knowing who will manage it? I did not sign it, he does not know.” The ballot will be held in April and includes three candidates: Nuno Lobo, Andre Villas-Boas and, as was confirmed at the end of this week , Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.
At FC Porto since 2017, Sergio Conceição brought the club back to the titles after four seasons of drought (the longest period without titles in the Pinto da Costa era) and despite the reduced investment in the football team, he won the championship on three occasions (2018, 2020). . and 2022), won three Portuguese Cups (2020, 2022 and 2023), one League Cup and three Super Cups. As much or more: The Portuguese coach had previously qualified Porto to the knockout stage of the Champions League five times and fell in eighth place at the feet of Liverpool (2018) and Inter Milan (2023) and in the quarter-finals because of Liverpool. (2019) and Chelsea (2021). In this edition, FC Porto was the only Portuguese team to qualify for the Champions League group stage and will face Arsenal as its rival.
Why is it so important to talk about the Champions League and Sergio Conceicao in this context? In December last year, FC Porto qualified for the 14th place in its history for the Round of 16 of UEFA's million-dollar competition, and of those 14 qualifiers, Sergio Conceição was responsible for five. The coach is also the first coach to reach the Champions League quarter-finals twice with a Portuguese team.
Despite the recognized success at the helm of FC Porto, the relationship between Sergio Conceição and some SAD officials and even the “Super Dragões” fan base (which last week suffered a severe setback with the judicial police operation to arrest Fernando Madureira) has never been better. But peaceful. It is known that the coach has managed some of SAD's positions regarding sales policy with some wear and tear and even discomfort: the most recent was the sale of Otavio to Al Nasr, a process that, in the coach's opinion, harmed the sporting objectives. .Last season .
“It is FC Porto’s biggest asset.”
Jorge Faria de Sousa, commentator on the program “Jogo Económico”, on the multimedia platform JE TV, even considers Sergio Conceição “to be FC Porto’s greatest asset” because he “was absolutely decisive in the sporting success of his team”. “The coach lived with the intervention of UEFA, due to a lack of commitment to financial fair play, and yet he won championships,” analyst GE notes.
In this commentator's opinion, “Throughout its career Conceição has had teams inferior to its rivals, with many players leaving for free and low investment in the team.”
What are the consequences of the coach leaving Porto, as could happen at the end of this season? “The possible departure of Sergio Conceição from the technical leadership would be very difficult from a sporting point of view for the unbeaten club. In addition to the financial problems that the Porto logo is experiencing, having to start a new sporting project, with a new technical team, would be unknown.
Millions in cash
Because victories and qualification in the Champions League are associated with millions of dollars, Sergio Conceicao has already ensured the victory of FC Porto since 2017, with revenues from UEFA alone, an amount close to 350 million euros (347 million euros to be more precise), with the 2018 season. /19 is the most profitable ever in the club's history in European competitions: 80.7 million euros. This season alone, despite only completing the group stage, the “Dragon” has already achieved the third highest revenue ever in the competition (63 million euros), with the second highest in 2020/21: 73.7 million euros.
If we measure the weight of Sergio Conceicao in valuing FC Porto's assets (football player passes), it is possible to see from the data from Transfermarkt that the Portuguese coach has never spent more on signings than the value of sales since he was in charge of the Dragons. Since 2017, Porto have spent €280m on signings (€113.9m for the 24 players signed by Portuguese clubs, according to their Transfer Diaries page) and generated €533m in sales. Moreover, revenue from player passes has always exceeded 68 million euros (the lowest value was reached this season) and Sergio Conceição's most expensive season at FC Porto was also the most profitable in terms of sales: in 2019/20, the “blue and white” achieved buyouts worth 63.3 million and raised 88 million euros.
FC Porto Sade is in a “dangerous situation”
FC Porto's financial difficulties have been public, but recent analysis (from October last year) of last season's accounts for the 'big three', by Maxyield – Clube dos Pequenos Acionistas, to which JE has been able to access, shows that the sad 'Dragons Plunge into the financial tournament of the nation's biggest football crests.
“All SADs exhibit liquidity difficulties, offering passive, although quite differentiated, working funds, treasury management conditions and fulfillment of their obligations, with the Porto SAD situation being particularly serious,” according to the study seen by JE.
“The liquidity obtained from athletes’ transactions has been crucial in avoiding shortfalls in the treasury. Moreover, both Porto Sad and Sporting Sad have a low level of equity, which has resulted in a loss of half of their capital.”
It should be noted that in the report and accounts submitted to the CMVM at the end of October and with reference to the previous season, SAD presented a loss of €47.6 million with negative equity of €175.9 million.
Moreover, if UEFA's new financial regulation comes into effect at the end of this season as it will be set up (without the transition period), FC Porto will be very close to violating the rule. Currently, a third of the teams competing in the current edition of Europe's biggest club competition will be eliminated, according to established criteria that replace Financial Fair Play. This is what the new regulation states: In the 2025/26 season, sports companies, which manage club football, cannot spend more than 70% of their revenues on wages, transfers and commissions for the business.
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