Keeping Neymar at Santos meant compromising female football?
Europe’s giants were getting ready to fight over the signing of the Neymar, the 18-year-old Brazilian prodigy. However, in November Santos announced that Neymar had signed a contract that lasted until 2014 and included a 50% pay increase. Santos are one of the richest clubs in South America ($45m annual revenue), but even in a booming Brazilian economy needed to make huge sacrifices to keep their star.
Club president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro said: “Keeping Neymar was a gesture of enormous courage but it has a cost. Winning titles has made player salaries more expensive and it’s impossible not to cut costs.” What were his cost-cutting solutions? Well, controversially getting rid of the women’s team (nicknamed the Mermaids) and the men’s futsal team. As a point of reference, the five-time FIFA female player of the year Marta played at Santos in 2010 and 2011.
But Neymar, already reaching superstar status for his flashy style of play and vibrant personality, shouldn’t be held responsible for the cuts or anything like that. After all, it was the club’s decision to do everything within their power to keep him from going abroad. But this seems to be a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of situation doesn’t it? [story via UF]