Sporting Lisbon threatens to disintegrate
Sporting Lisbon simply cannot calm down. After coach Jorge Jesus and goalkeeper Rui Patricio fired the club, four more layoffs flitted into the Portuguese third – and again they are stars.
The renowned newspaper A Bola reports that midfielders William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes, super talent Gelson Martins and attacker Bas Dost want to leave the club immediately. In separate letters, the professionals stated that “valid motives” would exist to dissolve their contracts. Fan attacks are led a few weeks ago, when numerous rioters in disguise had penetrated the changing room and threatened and even physically harassed players there. Former Bundesliga professional Dost suffered a bleeding head injury which had to be sutured.
A little later Rui Patricio took the first step, announced the club and justified this with the events. Sporting’s not uncontroversial President Bruno de Carvalho sensed a real intrigue from Patricio’s advisor Jorge Mendes, who could thus benefit from a non-transfer to the Wolverhampton Wanderers.
However, the 30-year-old national goalkeeper was not the only one. Coach Jorge Jesus also justified his departure with the events, as did U-21 international Daniel Podence – and now four more top performers follow.
Sporting, who failed to qualify for the Champions League by losing 2-1 to Maritimo Funchal on the last day of play and finished third behind champions Porto and Benfica, is in danger of breaking up. It is not clear how the club will react to this flood of layoffs. One thing is certain: Sporting will have to do something if not all the important players are to go on a non-redeemable basis.