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Portimonense: future in the balance

Though the club narrowly failed to secure a promotion spot last season, Portimonense is still clinging onto hope that it will compete in Portugal’s top football division next year.

A court decision to re-instate Gil Vicente in Portugal’s Primeira Liga, following a successful appeal in the so-called ‘Mateus’ case dating back to 2006, which saw the club relegated from first to second division, has created uncertainty as to the format next season’s Portuguese top tier will take.

If Gil Vicente does participate in the Liga NOS as early as the 2016/17 season as a result of the verdict, then the number of clubs competing will have to be increased from the intended 18 to 20. That, in turn, opens up various scenarios including the possibilities of promoting Portimonense, who missed out by the narrowest of margins, retaining relegated União da Madeira, or having a play-off between the two. A decision is expected to be made by the league committee shortly.

Back in the Algarve, an official announcement confirming the appointment of Vítor Oliveira as the new Portimonense coach is still outstanding.

Meanwhile, Porto have completed the €830,000 transfer of 18-year-old Nigerian winger Musa Yahaya who had impressed at Portimonense during the latter half of last season. Unfortunately, the financial windfall will go to Tottenham Hotspur who retained the rights to the player.

More positive is the news that central defender Lucas is likely to extend his loan spell from São Paulo by another season and the likely return of Ricardo Nascimento from Académica.

The new season is due to kick off on August 7. Watch this space for further developments!