“Who doesn’t want to be president of Palmeiras?”, asks Saverio Orlandi, 50, life counselor of the club alviverde who, yes, wants to occupy the position. About three months before the election, and having Leila Pereira already defined as an opponent, Orlandi is looking forward to the day when he can present himself as the opposition candidate in an inglorious battle against the powerful owners of Crefisa and FAM, sponsors of the club.
“For now, I am a postulant,” said the lawyer, in an interview with UOL. Saverio has been a member of the club since 1983, has been a member of the board for nearly 20 years and is a member of the COF — the club’s Orientation and Supervisory Board. a sort of senate within Palmeiras—in four of the last five legislatures and former director. And he waits for all opposition currents to converge around his name so that he can run for president.
Pre-candidate Saverio has several criticisms of the management of Mauricio Galiotte, of whom he was allied, ranging from the end of the main basketball and futsal teams to the siege of the streets around the stadium on game days, passing through the relationship with Crefisa, the finances and the conduct of politics in the club. “Mauricio received a harmonious club and will leave with a cracked scenario,” he says.
Orlandi says he has nothing personal against Leila Pereira, whom he wants to defeat. Nor does he shrug off the importance of his companies’ sponsorship of Palmeiras. “It’s a source of pride,” he says. “But since her arrival, I’ve seen her in this process of cooptation and undermining leadership in the club, threatening lawsuits,” he says. “There is a disagreement within the club in relation to her posture,” he says.
According to Saverio, Leila’s profile was what drove many away from the idea of running against her in an election. “She scared these people, who became afraid of suffering retaliation for opposing her,” he adds.
And it is precisely in this that Saverio sees a chance to try to beat her in the November election. “Today, she has no resistance. But there will come a time when she will need to compose a sheet, for example. And people who thought they would stand out next to her may run out of space. Her group is very heterogeneous, and that type disagreement can undermine her candidacy”, he believes.
“She is obnoxious, does not like to be contradicted, is inopportune. She can slip on a banana peel,” he adds. “She’s also been using the club a lot for her events, too, and the member who goes there on weekends doesn’t necessarily want to deal with that,” he says. “Not everyone feels represented by her,” he says.
Even for that reason, Saverio wants to be made official as a candidate soon. “She may have made the candidacy official a week ago, but she has already pressed the campaign button a long time ago. And the election is in three months, and I haven’t started yet,” he says. “I need to be able to go to the club, make the body, present my ideas,” he says.
“I know I don’t have her or Paulo Nobre’s popularity, but I have my political capital,” he guarantees. “I’m not the favorite of Mustafa and other leaders, but I have a dialogue with all currents,” he says, who believes his candidacy is at a disadvantage compared to Leila in a 40-60 ratio, based on the last election for the chairmanship of the board. It was in this proportion that Mario Giannini, from the opposition, lost to the situationist Seraphim Del Grande.
“The councilors are not the partners, who are going to elect the president. But they are a thermometer”, says Saverio.
Crefisa’s relationship with Palmeiras is not one of benevolence
Crefisa and Palmeiras announced on Monday (23) the extension of the contract for another three years. That way, if he subverts logic and wins the election, Saverio will not have to worry about getting a new sponsor for Palmeiras, if the businesswoman had any feeling of revenge if not chosen, since the previous contract ended with the term of Galiotte.
“The anticipation of contract renewal is an excellent measure to mitigate one of the specific conflicts of the candidate, who is the possible agent and would also be a sponsor,” he says. “It’s the materialization of the concept that I’ve always defended many times, since her arrival in 2015: Crefisa’s relationship with Palmeiras is based on a win-win game, which gives her security and interest, as well as the certainty of staying in the business even if it doesn’t win the election,” she says.
“Of course, people from Palmeira feel supported by Crefisa’s sponsorship, but sometimes in a way that borders on begging,” he says. “As if it were doing a favor by sponsoring Palmeiras. There is no benevolence in the agreement. The companies it has are solid, of course. But Crefisa has benefited a lot from Palmeiras. And FAM, which was modest, has it today. the size of Uninove, for example. And of course Palmeiras played an important role in that,” he says.
“Her sponsorship contract with Palmeiras is different from all contracts, it even provides for the use of the players’ image. She pays R$ 81 million, but because she bought all the sponsorship properties. Palmeiras cannot negotiate any part of its ownership. uniform with another company,” he says.
For Orlandi, a departure from Crefisa do Palmeiras would not be the end of the world. “The balance shows that the sponsorship corresponds to 18% of the revenue. If they leave, the club will not be able to repay the R$ 81 million, but it may very well get a sponsor to pay for half and negotiate the rest with other companies”, it says.
“The company that succeeds Crefisa in the Palmeiras shirt will benefit from an exhibition light cannon, imagine. There will certainly be interested parties,” he says.
Master’s and postdoctoral studies in Palmeiras
Palmeiras came into Saverio’s life as an inheritance, from his grandfather Alfonso and his father, also Saverio. Already in the politics of Palmeiras, Saverio began to hold administrative positions after the administration of Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo, between 2009 and 2010. At 40 years old, in pairs with Genaro Marino, he participated in the football board.
“I joke that my years on the board were my master’s degree. But my post-doctorate in Palmeiras came at the time of COF”, he says. “It’s there that you start to have a more linear view of the thing, it has a greater scope on the structural issue, planning, finance”, he explains.
Galiotte management is victorious but disastrous politically and financially
Saverio was very close to Galiotte, they belonged to the same political group. But they walked away when the lawyer made the report that condemned Crefisa’s relationship with Palmeiras — especially regarding the contractual addendum that turned the players that the company bought for the club into debt, after intervention by the Federal Revenue.
Even for this reason, Saverio, although a member of the COF, was not invited to accompany this year’s Libertadores final at Maracanã. “But I took my leaps and went,” he says. “I even found him [Maurico] there, I wasn’t at all embarrassed, I couldn’t stay out of this game,” he says.
For Orlandi, Galiotte’s administration will go down in history as a sporting victor, but economically and politically disastrous. “We have revenues, but we have very high expenses,” he says. “Mauricio found a pacified club and is leaving, leaving an atmosphere that is not too airy and unharmonious. He was supported by everyone, elected by acclamation, and the club is now divided,” he says.
Among other measures of the Galiotte administration, he criticizes the extinction of traditional amateur sports adult teams in Palmeiras, such as basketball and futsal. And he also promises to try to change something in relation to the encirclement of the streets around the stadium on match days. “There are no pickpockets or drug users that justify prohibiting the crowd from holding such a traditional type of party. This is once again the public authorities not treating football correctly, punishing those who have to punish. Anyone who is from Palmeira knows. that occupying the streets near the stadium is very important. This is part of our history,” he says.