In November 2020, Atltico’s board stipulated the minimum sporting performance expected for the following year. Among the projections was the goal of reaching at least the quarter-finals of the knockout tournaments played in 2021. The goal was surpassed and, now, the club wants more.
Minas Gerais champion, Atltico will face Palmeiras in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores, a stage that they had not achieved since 2013, the year they were champions. The team is one tie away from reaching the same stage in the Copa do Brasil. In the first leg of the quarterfinals, they beat Fluminense by 2-1 in Rio de Janeiro. The return will be in Belo Horizonte, and whoever moves forward will face So Paulo or Fortaleza.
In addition to the obvious importance of winning titles, doing well in the World Cups is fundamental for the club’s financial planning. Alvinegra’s board prepares the disclosure of accounts for the second quarter for the next few days; the expectation that those of the third will be published in the first half of October. Although they have not yet become public, the documents must indicate a deficit – as it was a time of the year with greater investment than financial return.
That’s where the importance of knockout tournaments comes in. Awards for performance in this type of competition will reach Alvinegro’s coffers in the coming months and may give a “breath” to the annual accounts, which, according to the club’s projection, have to close with a surplus of R$ 5 million. At least this was the amount stipulated in the budget approved by the Deliberative Council on November 30, 2020.
“It is not possible to plan the club, imagining that we will reach all the finals, because that will not happen. We plan, in the 2021 budget, to reach the quarterfinals of the Libertadores and Copa do Brasil. it’s a profit, because it’s in the semifinals. If you go from the Libertadores semifinal to the Copa do Brasil, there’s another profit in relation to planning. We can have a better year than what was planned at the beginning of the year, depending on the performance of Libertadores, the Copa do Brasil and which athlete will be sold in December”, declared businessman Rafael Menin, one of those responsible for managing the club, in an interview with Fala Galo.
The document endorsed by the board members foresees R$183.3 million in revenue from broadcast and image rights and awards for disputed competitions. In the knockouts alone, Atltico has secured R$47.1 million (R$39.25 million at Libertadores, at the current dollar rate, and R$7.85 million at the Copa do Brasil). And values can grow – and a lot – depending on performance from here.
If it’s the final of the continental tournament, Atltico guarantees at least another R$31.2 million for the vice-championship. In case of bi-championship, he receives R$ 78 million. In the Copa do Brasil, the awards are also attractive. The club earns R$7.3 million in the semifinal if it eliminates Fluminense in the quarterfinals. The champion gets another R$56 million, while the second-place winner takes R$23 million.
In the best of scenarios (with the two cups), Atltico would earn R$197.4 million just for the knockout tournaments – an amount that surpasses the goal without even considering broadcasting rights and awards for the Minas Gerais title and for the performance in the Brazilian Championship, competition in which the team leads after 18 rounds. Beating Libertadores would also guarantee more millions, as it would guarantee the team at the Club World Cup and the 2022 South American Cup.
“The situation at the end of the year will certainly be better than the situation at the end of 2020. Now, if we do very well in competitions, the situation can be considerably better,” stated Menin. For now, these are just optimistic projections for a promising team. Winning at least part of these awards, however, is essential for the financial goals established in 2020 to be achieved in 2021.