Atlético-MG chief says the team would be in Série B without customer help

Atlético-MG chief says the team would be in Série B without customer help

On the pitch, Atlético-MG is in crisis and, without good results, is left out of the Copa Libertadores, Copa do Brasil and out of the G-4 in Brazil. Off the field, the situation is also complicated. This is what the club’s president, Sergio Coelho said. According to the actor, had it not been for the support of sponsors assisting the administration, the rooster in Série B would have been for the Brazilian.

“Were it not for these people (4R) to help Atlético, both financially and practically, Atlético, without a doubt, would be in the second division” – Sergio Coelho

Rubens Menin, Rafael Menin, Renato Salvador and Ricardo Guimarães are the four rupees that help the club financially and form a collegiate body linked to managerial decisions. Sergio Coelho highlighted the work of the four businessmen to help update the club’s accounts.

The 4 R’s of Rooster: Rafael, Rubens Menin, Renato Salvador and Ricardo Guimarães – Photo: Pedro Souza/Atletico MG

It’s tough on the field, you can’t imagine it off the field, in terms of the club’s finances. We have the biggest debt in Brazilian football. We are the club that owes the most (…) today we pay the bills because 4R helps pay those bills. Without them, we would not have been able to – he stated this in an interview with Rádio Itatiaia. The president also highlighted the difficulty of competing with the clubs Palmeiras and Flamengo, which have the best financial structure.

Flamengo has twice the revenue of Atletico, Palmeiras more than that, and we’ve been playing alongside them since last year. He said the difficulties we are facing off the pitch are too great.

Atlético is still unable to estimate the financial damage caused by the eliminations in Copa de Brazil and Brasiliao. He added that it would be difficult to balance the accounts with the MRV Arena business in progress and the lack of player sales.

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Sérgio Coelho explains that the damage from eliminations goes beyond just prizes and states that the initial budget goal for the Libertadores game has been overcome, which is to reach the quarter-finals. The team was eliminated by Palmeiras.

– We set an expectation to reach the Libertadores quarter-finals, and we got there. Also in the Copa Brasil quarter-finals, but we were in the round of 16. Not only do you lose out on how much you’d earn to reach the quarter-finals, you lose out on the box office, the partners, the publicity… the revenue that comes when you’re good at the tournament.

Due to the financial imbalance, the president does not rule out selling players. He states that the sales target for the season has been reached, but notes that the sale value of Junior Alonso to Russia (approximately R$46 million) is included in the 2021 financial statement. Sergio Coelho continues to say that the only recent offer went to Nathan Silva’s departure.

– As we expected to sell 140 million players. We have already sold nearly 150 million Rls. But Alonso’s sale, which took place this year, counted last year, because it started last year. So, we suffer from a deficit. We sold what was to be sold, but last year’s part was booked. We need to sell more, yes. It is inevitable to stop selling, if there is a good offer for the club and the player.

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Even due to financial difficulties, Atlético-MG plans for the coming years to switch to Sociedade Anônima do Futebol. The global debt of the club is about 1.3 billion Brazilian Real. Sérgio Coelho admits there could be a switch to SAF at the end of this year.

We did it differently from other clubs. We set up Atlético, hired Ernest Young and BTG to advise us on the market. These companies combined all of Atlético’s numbers to show potential investors. These investors do the opposite due diligence, as they hire someone to make sure these numbers are correct. We already expected. It is possible, at the end of the year, that we will establish a SAF. Atlético becomes 100% owner, and if it sells SAF shares, it votes in the Board to approve the sale of shares. It is a path of no return, it is necessary, and it will be the solution to the club’s financial problems.

When asked about the proposals on the table, Sérgio Coelho confirmed that there are letters of intent signed by some companies to analyze all Atlético documents.

There are completely confidential letters of intent. We begin to exchange documents, we begin to provide them (interested companies) with information, to potential buyers and interested parties. There are indeed some companies, yes.

Sérgio says management’s interest is to hold more than 50% of SAF’s shares, but it is setting a 51% cap for negotiation at this time.

– I think it would be 51% max, but the ideal is that we sell a lower percentage so we can retain control. It will also depend on the buyer. I don’t think we’re doing more than 51% of the selling business.”

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Galo na Veia – Atlético-MG Membership Program – Photo: Disclosure

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