Following the news that William Carvalho, Bas Dost, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes are the latest players seeking to have their contract at Sporting Clube De Portugal, Próximo Jornada looks at what happened to Sporting for the situation to have gotten this bad.
Cast your mind back to the 5th of April 2018. Sporting were on the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat in the Europa League, at home, to Atlético de Madrid. Koke scored Atléti’s quickest ever Europa League goal after just 22 seconds, and from then on it looked unlikely that Sporting would get back into the game. However, this defeat was not the shock that set Sporting into a spiralling crisis, it was the president of Sporting, Bruno De Carvalho’s reaction to this defeat that really kicked things off.
De Carvalho furiously took to social media after the defeat, laying blame at the feet of individual players for the world to see. His comments were those of an angry, frustrated and highly emotional man, however his personal and unprofessional attacks on the players themselves, was deemed inexcusable by the players themselves. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio posted an Instagram message, defending the players and their honour and reaffirmed the passion they have for the Sporting shirt, something that Carvalho seemed to doubt. This united front that the players displayed, ended up with Carvalho suspending 19 of the players
Things went from bad to worse for Sporting in May following a training ground attack on members of the first team squad and backroom staff, at the hands of some 50+ Ultras, in the wake of Sporting’s defeat to Marítimo, which meant Sporting would miss out on Champions League Football for the 2018/19 season.
William Carvalho, Bas Dost, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes’ decision to rescind their contracts, claiming ‘just cause’ in their explanations, means they join the ever-growing list of Sporting players deciding that their future, does not lie in the green and white of the Lions. Carvalho, Dost, Fernandes and Martins join manager Jorge Jesus, forward Daniel Podence and goalkeeper Rui Patricio on the voluntary exodus list, with other players expected to follow.
This then leaves Sporting the club in a strange predicament, with no manager, experienced, core players such as Patricio and Carvalho gone. Along with players who had been tipped for the future of Sporting such as Martins and Fernandes, whose presence Sporting would have benefited from, either leading the team themselves or whose sales would have undoubtedly generated large sums of money for the club.
Now Sporting face a summer and a transfer window, frustratingly interrupted by a World Cup, with a president that has a reputation that goes before him and as of yet, no manager. Sporting will undoubtedly have to look to the B team and youth setup in order to foster some talent that is deemed good enough for the Sporting main side. it is a shame to see what has happened, happen to such a historic club that seemed to be moving in the right direction, year upon year. This latest debacle in Sporting I would expect to set them back another few years in their quest for Portuguese dominance.