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Pitch black


The future of Portimão FC does not look particularly rosy at this moment in time. Having failed to survive in the top tier of Portuguese football following a 20-year absence, relegation has thrown both administration and playing staff into disarray.

The third attempt to produce a successor to Fernando Rocha in the presidential chair did not bring forward a single candidate. This lack of leadership has thrown up doubts as to the club’s ability to continue in professional football per se, although the commission temporarily in charge of day-to-day affairs has assured fans that the necessary paperwork has been forwarded to the FA. That body’s leader, Jaime Dias, says: “I am sad and disappointed. I never thought that there would be such a lack of candidates. It is a very sad day for Portimonense, but this should not spell out the end for the club as we find ourselves in a stable financial situation.”

Some doubt is thrown upon the latter assertion as questions were being asked by FIFA over last year’s Jumisse transfer, while Portimão mayor Manuel da Luz expressed concerns over the €2 million spent on renovating a stadium which may possibly see no further use.

On the pitch, news broke Monday that relatively successful coach Carlos Azenha, in charge since Christmas, announced that he was not willing to continue. Of his former charges only reservists Wakaso and Ivo as well as captain Ricardo Pessoa have valid contracts while Lagoa and Loulé loanees Vandi and Ben Traore are expected to return.

The bleak leader and manager-less outlook is somewhat tempered by the club’s juniors who were crowned second division champions for the first time ever last weekend. Given that the situation at the top of the club’s hierarchy can be resolved, talented youngsters such as defender Bruno Pacheco, midfielder Kristof or forward Samy could well provide a breath of fresh air for life in next season’s Liga Orangina.