Olhanense’s money problems continue

Eighteen months ago, Olhanense made the largest transfer deal of their 102-year history when they sold Brazilian midfielder Lucas Souza to Italian club Parma for €1.6 million.

The first of several staged payments was made, but the former Serie A club – relegated at the end of last season – are in deep financial trouble themselves and Olhanense will probably never see the rest of the money.

In February, Giampietro Manenti bought the debt-ridden club for just €1!

The following month, Manenti was arrested on allegations of money laundering and involvement in a credit card fraud ring.

On March 19, the club was declared bankrupt with a total liability of some €218 million.

The intermediate holding company of Parma, Eventi Sportivi SpA, was also declared bankrupt by a local court in April.

Olhanense have until June 19 to make outstanding Social Security and tax payments to enable them to compete in the Segunda Liga (Second Division) next season.

Failure to do so will also enable Diakhité and Femi Balogun, who are owed several months-worth of salaries, to be released from their contracts, which tied them to the club for another year.

Galassi, who was on-loan from Italian club Novara, will now not be returning to Olhão, and goalkeeper Ricardo Ribeiro has been signed by Primeira Liga side Belenenses.

Other players who have left the club after refusing the proposed phased payment of overdue amounts are Nuno Diogo, Diogo Melo, Celestino and Duarte Machado.

Olhanense lived from hand-to-mouth all last season and fans are losing faith with the club’s SAD (limited liability sports company).


Photo: Manager Cristiano Bacci faces an unsure future as Olhanense struggles to make outstanding payment