Benfica’s board, led by Rui Costa, announced that it does not accept the entry of American John Textor in SAD’s capital. A decision that leaves the millionaire “dismayed”, but still hopeful that, “one day”, he will “lead Benfica to a global power”.
After the resignation of the mandate of Luís Filipe Vieira, the board of Benfica met to take decisions and make “a reflection on the current moment of the Club, with particular emphasis on the public statements by Mr. John Textor and the announced interest in acquiring part of the SAD of Sport Lisboa e Benfica”, as announced by the club in a statement.
The board reinforces that “I didn’t know at all the existence of negotiations that led to the signing of an agreement for the purchase of 25% of the share capital of Benfica SAD between the private shareholder José António dos Santos and the investor John Textor”, ensuring that he was only aware of this agreement by the media.
However, the direction of Rui Costa is, from the outset, to warn that the club can “under certain circumstances” veto this acquisition.
Thus, Texter alerts that it considers “untimely this operation” and that, therefore, “it will oppose the same, in the exercise of its rights and duties, if this matter is subject to resolution at the General Meeting of Shareholders of Benfica SAD”,
“The management of Sport Lisboa e Benfica also clarifies that it considers it inappropriate to receive, formally or informally, Mr. John Textor at this time”, also points out the same statement.
“Dismayed” and “surprised” text
Club position leaves Textor “sad”, as he assumes in a statement on his website. He had the expectation of being received by the current board of Benfica.
But the millionaire also confesses ”surprised” because its “offer to finance the club’s capital needs on terms more favorable than the ongoing bond issue” has received “very little consideration”.
“The opportunity to join the SL Benfica family, which by itself had already invited public investment, it would be the opportunity of a lifetime“, he further refers.
Textor explains that his proposal to purchase 25% of SAD was “duly negotiated, documented and disclosed in good time”.
Also, note that it is “independent of leadership, past and present”, and refers to the club’s current management that it is “not advisable” to look at your offer “of support through the lens of recent events that are in no way related” to you.
Textor refers to the lawsuit involving Luís Filipe Vieira and his friend José António dos Santos, holder of the 25% of Benfica SAD negotiated with Textor.
Messages to Rui Costa
However, Textor also leaves a barb to Rui Costa, noting that “leadership is a lonely task” and that it “requires courage”, especially in “difficult times”. Thus, he notes that evaluating his proposal solely on its “merits” would have been “the obvious leadership choice”.
But, Textor points out that respect the decision of the board for choosing to “focus on the important challenges of the coming weeks and months, on and off the field”, referring to qualification for the Champions League and “preparing for a successful campaign in the League”, as well as the electoral process for ” allow the people of Benfica to guide the direction of the club”.
Therefore, the millionaire believes it was a refusal motivated by the current circumstances, noting that the current direction is being “careful and contemplative” while plotting “a course for the future” of Benfica.
However, Textor believes that, sometime in the future, he will be welcomed by the club’s officials for a “friendly and healthy exchange of ideas”.
So, with a “heavy” heart, but also “Hopeful”, wishes “the greatest joys and successes” to Benfica fans for the next season and for the future.
“My plan is now betting on investments in the UK that I hope, one day, will be seen as valuable for the management of SL Benfica”, he stresses, ending with a “Saudações Benfiquistas” in Portuguese.
“Let’s lead Benfica to a global power”
However, in an interview with Nascer do Sol, Textor stresses that he is willing to invest “over 100 million in the club”.
“The leaders of Benfica will wake up one day and realize that I come in peace“, says still in this interview.
“They will be bold, they will lead and let’s lead Benfica to a global power for the benefit of Benfica fans”, he also points out.
Textor acknowledges that “this will take some time, but that’s what will happen next”, he is convinced. “Life is a marathon, not a sprint”, stresses, noting that a business partner usually tells him that he has “’pozinhos de perlimpimpim’ at his fingertips”. “Maybe one day Benfica will think the same”, he concludes.
Susana Valente, ZAP //