The public position of the duo Botafogo and Vasco shows an alignment that narrows behind the scenes in recent weeks. The leaders of the two SAFs in Rio de Janeiro, dissatisfied with Ferj and the next State, noticed similar interests and mingled speeches in opposition to the current division of transmission rights.
The joining of forces was evident in recent days, when the duo released official notes similar to criticisms of the federation and the company responsible for negotiating the rights. The disagreement is in the proposal for rival Flamengo, which would receive twice as much compared to each of the other big three in the state.
Last Friday, upon confirming the information that Flamengo would receive R$ 18 million for the transmission rights, Vasco changed its tone in relation to Carioca and announced that it would not sign the agreement under the terms of the entity. The club harshly criticized Flamengo’s management. In a note, he said that the opponent “seems not to have understood that football is not played alone”.
On the same day, 777 executives got in touch with John Textor, lined up behind the scenes and went on the attack. On Saturday, Botafogo announced that it would not sign the terms either. Fluminense then joined the chorus, although Vasco believes that the Laranjeiras club does not want to enter into a fight with Flamengo, due to the partnership in the administration of Maracanã, but treats the adhesion of the tricolor board as positive.
At the first meeting in arbitration, in early November, when Ferj presented the proposal to commercialize the rights of Carioca, Flamengo and Fluminense did not send representatives. The red-blacks have not yet commented on the matter.
The affinity came from before the discomfort with the proposals. Both Botafogo and Vasco gave little importance to the beginning of the State in the planning of the next season. Proof of this is that both clubs will travel to the United States in January 2023, with the tournament in progress.
It is likely, moreover, that John Textor and the heads of 777 will meet to discuss possible partnerships. There is embryonic debate about friendly between clubs in North America. The match could even serve to play in the third round of Carioca, which would depend on Ferj’s endorsement.
Botafogo has not officially released the agenda, but organizes a period of up to two weeks for the tour. The club talks with teams from the United States and, at the moment, evaluates the states of Florida or Arizona as possible bases.
Vasco, on the other hand, will land on American soil with the main squad on January 14 and will spend a week in Florida. During this period, he will play friendlies against River Plate (17/1) and Inter de Miami (21/1). Consequently, he will play the first three rounds of Carioca, including the classic against Botafogo, on the 21st, with an alternative team.
Ignored commercial threat
Both Botafogo and Vasco should play the State with the main teams at some point, but without giving up adequate preparation. And, by not even signing the agreement, the duo ignores the main reprisal of the federation: the loss of the value of the rights to those who do not climb the starting lineup from the third round.
On the side of Botafogo, the decision, in part, fulfills a promise made by Textor in the last edition of Carioca. The businessman stated that he would compete in the competition with team B in the heat of elimination for Fluminense, when the alvinegros complained about the arbitration.
New round of negotiations
Vasco, in turn, is still seeking an alignment with Ferj and awaits the entity for a new round of negotiations. The club will not accept that Flamengo receives twice as much, understanding that it would be an “involution”, at a time when the big clubs in Brazilian football are working to create a league.
In addition, Vasco understands that, traditionally, the Carioca Championship broadcasting rights have always been divided equally between the four big clubs in Rio de Janeiro, which kept 60% of the value sold for the rights. The remainder was shared by the clubs with the lowest investment.
In a note this Sunday, Ferj defended itself against criticism, attacked Botafogo’s stance and assured that the negotiation between clubs and the company responsible for marketing the broadcasting rights of the Carioca Championship is still in progress.