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Saturday, 06 April 2013 17:44

Boavista back in the top flight in 2013/14

Liga to increase to 18 teams to accommodate Porto club

Bessa.jpgThe Portuguese Professional Football League (LPFP) today voted to allow Boavista back into the top flight. The Axadrezados will be playing in an enlarged 18-team Liga ZON Sagres next season, after a five-year absence from the upper echelons of Portuguese football.

The Porto club were demoted to the second division in 2008 after being found guilty of corruption, and crippling financial problems contributed to them tumbling further down the football pyramid in Portugal. They have always fought the decision tooth and nail and an appeal against the ruling was upheld in February, paving the way for today's historic decision.

As well as Boavista, an extra club will also be welcomed into the top flight in 2013/14 as the division reverts to an 18-team league next season.

It has not yet been decided how the extra club will earn its place, with a hastily arranged end-of-season play-off system involving two clubs from the Second Division and the two clubs who finish in the relegation zone in the Liga looking the most likely solution.

Despite the euphoria no doubt being felt by everyone connected to Boavista at this moment, the club faces a huge task to try and consolidate its top flight status. Boavista have failed to mount a promotion push in the segunda divisão norte. They currently lie in mid-table in what is effectively the 3rd tier of Portuguese football.

by Tom Kundert

Comments (39)
No excuses for low attendance
39 Saturday, 13 April 2013 13:55
There's great sports towns in the US. Chicago fans turn out for everything, no matter what. St Louis fans love their Baseball. NYC is whole different animal. It's primarily a basketball/Knicks town. People tend to forget how empty Yankee stadium used to be when they struggled. You win, they come. Miami and Atlanta are awful sports towns.
The transportation infrastructure is fine on Portugal. As a visitor I still feel costs aren't that high, but I understand the locals. When on vacation or on business, the worry about costs isn't great. Especially if on business.
In Portugal we're mostly front runners. Hence the Big 3. But we do have clubs with loyal followings. I rail against Setubal all of the time, because they should do so much better. They're on the other side of the bridge, with large communities that work in Lisboa. They should be tapping into the market, and drawing much better. Sesimbra, Cruz de Pau, Barreiro, etc... have a captive audience. Setubal does nothing to capture it.
I for one would not attend a Derby. I don't need to chance a stabbing (Roma vs Lazio & numerous Benfica vs Sporting). But I do go to Benfica matches, Belenenses due to their proximity, and now I'll catch Atletico's as well. But that's me, a futebol fan. In most cases, people wouldn't even know if Setubal is playing at home or on the road. That's Setubal's fault.
38 Saturday, 13 April 2013 08:53
I have it both ways? When I say I traveled extensively I was referring to travel outside Portugal. I currently live in Portugal.
37 Saturday, 13 April 2013 01:28
The 6 hour drive is not unrealistic. I've done the Vila Real de Santo António-Porto trip many times (both by rail and road) and I've been to Caminha a few times too. Plus, my experience with Google tells me their times are pretty accurate (for your information they take hills and mountains into account). The cattle herd is a funny anecdote and rest stops are needed everywhere.

«While I don't live there 100% yet, I visit frequently enough and talk to friends and relatives to know what they face and goes on there. I also daily read the Portuguese press on line and can see what is happening in Portugal and to its infrastructure. Hmmm, when was the last road wash out or bridge collapse? Why are gasoline sales, rest stop concessions, and toll road revenue down drastically....»

Are you talking about inability to drive around due to the economic crisis or inability to walk around due to problems in the infrastructure? Come on, you're arguing with someone who lives that everyday.

The gas prices have nothing to do with that are a market of their own, they don't really depend on that. Spain has lower gas prices.

You bring things up and then don't follow. You didn't give me any examples of difficult places to get to. The facts say that Portugal has a higher road and rail density than the US, for example.

«Why are Soccer stadiums mostly empty? In 80 home games the NY Yankees get more attendance out of a 55,000 seat stadium then all the Liga teams in a season worth of 240 games?»

A lot of reasons and none of them have anything to do with difficulty in getting around in Portugal. Just to mention two: sport tradition is much stronger in America, which makes more people go to the stadiums, and New York State alone has nearly double the population of Portugal

«When you are disengenuos and unrealistic you should stop posting here. I accept and love Portugal with all its flaws. You are a blind apologist for it.»

This part is really funny for me because I think our absurdly high road density -- especially motorways -- is a flaw (although we still manage to have one of the highest % of forest in Europe -- most of it eucalyptus, bah (and here's another big flaw for you!))
BTW Pedro which is it?
36 Saturday, 13 April 2013 00:21
BTW Pedro which is it? Do you live in Portugal or just visit? In looking back over your posts you have it both ways.
35 Friday, 12 April 2013 19:16
I stand by all my original statements. And thanks for admitting you used Google (why else the unrealistic 6 hour drive time?), which for Portugal does not consider climbing hills and mountains, crossing cattle herds and rthe necessary est stops. While I don't live there 100% yet, I visit frequently enough and talk to friends and relatives to know what they face and goes on there. I also daily read the Portuguese press on line and can see what is happening in Portugal and to its infrastructure. Hmmm, when was the last road wash out or bridge collapse? Why are gasoline sales, rest stop concessions, and toll road revenue down drastically....Why are Soccer stadiums mostly empty? In 80 home games the NY Yankees get more attendance out of a 55,000 seat stadium then all the Liga teams in a season worth of 240 games? When you are disengenuos and unrealistic you should stop posting here. I accept and love Portugal with all its flaws. You are a blind apologist for it.
Well, Arnaldo
34 Friday, 12 April 2013 08:23
And you showed me how low you are. First, you are discussing the country's infrastructure with someone who lives here and uses it (by the way, I travel mostly by rail because I'm not rich). Second, the «drives like a madman» part is sad, because I gave you the average time presented on Google Maps which, as everyone knows, obeys all speed limits.

When you don't know enough about a subject you should refrain from commenting.
33 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 23:46
Must be is delusional, rich and drive like a madman. Thats all I can say if he sincerely believes what he writes.
32 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 21:09
Well, Arnaldo, if you stand by what you said it's obvious to anyone here who has visited the country that you have no idea at all. I too have visited extensively and can assure you that the country is exceptionally well-served in roads.

Tolls are high everywhere, which is not a problem since our secondary roads are good.

«Even though Portugal is small there are still plenty of remote areas not well served by the roads.»

Please name those areas. Even somewhere as remote as Salvaterra do Extremo has a road leading there, the Aldeias Históricas de Portugal are well connected and so on.

«Bus and train travel is a joke because of the unpredictable strikes and long travel times.»

This is false. There are no strikes in bus services (the reasons should be obvious) and the train strikes are not unpredictable at all; nevertheless, they mostly affect big city areas and you still have trains. Bus travel is quick; train travel takes as much time as anywhere else.

«Only rabid diehards will drive 6 hours each way for a 2 hour game.»

Why 6 hours? Because I said it took six hours from Vila Real de Santo António to Caminha? If you're unaware of the locations, you should know that those two towns are in two diagonally opposed vertexes of the country, which is obviously the most extreme example.

«That's laughable. Families shouldn't have to be aware of them. Being aware of them wont protect you from their random thuggish behavior, flares , smoke bombs or random violence. They cause trouble outside stadiums.»

In a perfect world they shouldn't, but that doesn't stop them from enjoying the matches; it's no different than exerting caution in certain areas of big cities at night. I'm saying this out of personal experience, it's not something I suppose so.

«They've stoned cars and team busses from highway overpasses. You think it's ok for them to behave that way and endanger innocent bystanders? Let's hope you are always "aware" of them if you are not one of them.»

You're so ridiculous. Just because I say it's not dangerous to go to the stadiums in Portugal you ask me if I think it's ok for them to throw stones. Really? Grow up.

Yes, I'm always aware of them. That's why I'm giving my opinion.
31 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 17:18
I wasn't joking. For your information, it's extremely easy to get away from that crowd. ;) As long as you possess common sense you won't have any problem in Portuguese stadiums.
30 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 15:39
«Portugal is not the easiest country to get around in if you have to travel some distance.»
I standby my statement. I do visit often and travel extensively. Just because you can do it doesn't mean everyone else can or even wants to pay for it. The tolls are ridiculously high. Toll road use in Portugal is down drastically because no one can afford them. I know areas up north where they are deserted in favor of the free old local access roads. Even though Portugal is small there are still plenty of remote areas not well served by the roads.Bus and train travel is a joke because of the unpredictable strikes and long travel times. Its easier for the teams to come around than have all the fans travel to remote games. Only rabid diehards will drive 6 hours each way for a 2 hour game.

Pedro; "...as long as you're aware that you should not be amongst Super Dragões or NN Boys."

That's laughable. Families shouldn't have to be aware of them. Being aware of them wont protect you from their random thuggish behavior, flares , smoke bombs or random violence. They cause trouble outside stadiums. They've stoned cars and team busses from highway overpasses. You think it's ok for them to behave that way and endanger innocent bystanders? Let's hope you are always "aware" of them if you are not one of them.
29 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:47
Pedro; "...as long as you're aware that you should not be amongst Super Dragões or NN Boys."

That basically says it all, doesn't it. I can only assume that you were joking.

It's extremely easy to get around Portugal, even if you don't own a car.
28 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:16
Braga-Guimarães is probably the worst game in terms of violence, but still you can take your kids to the game if you exert some caution (where you walk, don't wear any scarf or other stuff that identifies you as a supporter of either Vitória or Braga and the place where you sit). I lived in Braga for some years and it's particularly safe to see that game at Braga (the stadium is far from the city and in a very open space).
Right Pedro
27 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 12:22
Chris (Canada)
I actually laughed when I read that comment. Portugal is one of the easiest countries I have ever traveled in. The via rapidas are exceptional, and even big city traffic is much more manageable than in places like Toronto thanks to the use of roundabouts.

With respect to the clubs, I agree that there is some press sensationalism, but if you have young kids, you're not really going to take the chance to go to a Braga-Vitoria Guimaraes match are you? So there is still work to be done, in my opinion.

26 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 10:42
«Portugal is not the easiest country to get around in if you have to travel some distance.»

This is false. It's sad to see how many motorways we have, but that also makes it easy to get anywhere fast; even the EN roads are of good quality. Are you aware that you can get from Vila Real de Santo António to Caminha in six hours? Plus, both the rail and bus services are really good (the former doesn't get to as many places, but it covers almost every team in the Liga). If you don't know the country or visit every ten years refrain from writing such nonsense.

«The league and clubs do not promote a safe environment and do nothing in drawing families or youngsters to matches.»

Once more false. You guys are reading way too much sensationalist press. It's perfectly safe to watch a Benfica-Porto match, as long as you're aware that you should not be amongst Super Dragões or NN Boys.

Attendances are low because in Portugal, although people love football, it was never that common to go to the matches. Right now with the economic crisis the high prices make it even worse.
Average Attendance
25 Tuesday, 09 April 2013 20:04
I apologize, I meant to say in Average Attendance, world wide..
24 Tuesday, 09 April 2013 14:37
The clubs in Portugal do nothing to promote their matches. The Big 3 don't have to, but the rest depend on the multitude of newspapers that preview the league.
Like it's been mentioned, besides the Big 3, Braga and Guimaraes are the only other two clubs with a bump in attendance above the rest. Let me just say that Gil Vicente had /has a nice following in the Liga de Honra which has increased in the SuperLiga. Varzim is another lower level club that has a nice following.

Portugal, as of right now, ranks 28th in total attendance in all competitions world wide. We average less attendance than Turkey, Scotland, South Korea, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, the US, Japan, China... You get the picture. Not a pretty sight.
On the Club level, Benfica ranks 41st in average attendance world wide. The next Portuguese club is Porto, sitting 79th world wide. Sadly that's the only Portuguese clubs in the top 200.

The league and clubs do not promote a safe environment and do nothing in drawing families or youngsters to matches.
Never said it was Chris...
23 Tuesday, 09 April 2013 13:20
I actually agree with most of your points in all your posts. Especially about the league being better managed. I think the best way of doing that is focusing on a core group of 12 teams in first division. The 12 team league, with third game at neutral sites doesn't overdo classicos and derbys, and allows tie into Liga Honra, and makes it easier for most fans to travel to see the teams. Portugal is not the easiest country to get around in if you have to travel some distance. Also agree wholeheartedly with the leagues doing something about the pyschotic fans that make it unattractive to family outings. Truth said we all love the league and want to see it prosper and grow in reputation. A bif piece of me will always be in Portugal, and this is one attachment to it.
Never said it was Arnaldo...
22 Tuesday, 09 April 2013 12:49
Chris (Canada)
What I said is that expansion or contraction will not solve the inherent issues of the Liga. The economy is a big part of it, yes, but there are many other economically challenged countries that manage better ticket sales (Spain, for example, who still have a much higher unemployment rate).

The real issues are with the administration of the teams and of the league by the FPF. There could be much better promotion done by the teams, and they could do much more to appeal to families instead of letting psychopaths with firecrackers and flares into the stadium.

The reality is that they cater to a very small number of people within the general population, which is why so few show up to games. Yes, the economy is yet to recover, but people are also not encouraged to go see matches.

As with your point about the big 3, some of that is very true, however, there are still teams that have good regular support, such as Academica, Braga, Pacos and Vitoria Guimaraes to name a few. But there is not enough done to get butts in the seats.

As a fan, I like to see more teams, so I like the 18 team proposal. However,as NJ and I have both been saying, it means little unless the powers that be decide to start exercising better business sense.

More teams & more games doesnt mean more revenue
21 Tuesday, 09 April 2013 01:31
More teams & more games doesnt mean more revenue. Last week the entire league for 8 games attendance was 85,000, barely 10,000 per game. Eliminate the big three and league average attendance really drops. For the teams making it into the 1st division the only revenue boosts will be when the big three come to town. Otherwise their attendance wont be much better than in the 2nd division. Not sure how much extra tv revenue they will see but I think higher payroll needed to avoid relegation will offset that. Portugal is not England where even most 2nd division teams and even some 3d have bigger stadiums the the Liga's teams except for those with Euro 2004 stadiums (one of which is empty...) Face it , Portugal's economy is years from recovery, and even if they the minnows could draw better they're stuck in small stadiums. I watch a lot of the games, and the stadiums are empty unless one of the big 3 are in town. Expansion is not the solution.
Thank you
20 Monday, 08 April 2013 17:01
Chris, I actually feel that our league does have star power. There's a ton of "world class" players that have come through our league. There's plenty more currently plying their trade in our league as well.
When I think about "elite" I tend to take an overall perspective. We have historic clubs and play, for the most part, attractive futebol. It's somewhat a competitive league as well. The concerns come from the tremendous drop in quality once you get to some of the mid and lower table clubs. Some of those clubs would get trounced in most other "elite" leagues. Sadly the league also isn't viable financially which makes sustainability of any progress very difficult. The TV revenue is nowhere near other leagues, and we all know the problems with attendance. I tend to blame clubs for the attendance issues.
I find it incredible that Benfica was able to crack the Top 20 in revenue, world wide.
We could pass France in the rankings, due to '08/'09 coming off the books. It will have a lot to do how far Benfica gets in Europa and the CL Qualification next season.
Thanks Edward.
19 Monday, 08 April 2013 15:00
Chris (Canada)
Much appreciated. We have a lot of good discussions on this site. I'd like to see more discussion from folks such as yourself on this site. For the most part, all of us are reasonable (unless it's the day after a Porto-Sporting-Benfica Classico).

18 Monday, 08 April 2013 14:57
Chris (Canada)
I wasn't really speaking to you per say, since you are one of the more well-educated and up to date posters on this site. But we do have some fundamental agreements and disagreements.

The FPF is absolutely incompetent. I find it odd that in terms of politicians and administration, there seems to be such an influx on nincompoops in power in Portugal. Especially considering that fact that most Portuguese now are better educated than have ever been before, are pretty in touch with world events and are bi or trilingual (Portugal has one of the highest dual or more language rates in the world).

But only corrupt idiots seem to be elected to power (Socrates, Coelho, Soares the most corrupt of all), and then we have the same issue in soccer (Madail, etc).

But I digress. I consider the French and Portuguese league on a similar level in terms of quality, with an edge to Portugal, because historically we have much better European-performing and winning teams. The French league is not what I would call rich by any stretch. But it is more competitive in terms of teams that can win it all.

As of next year, hopefully, Portugal will be #5. If we get some decent brains in administration, we can use this as a building point. In spite of the idiots in charge, the Liga has been growing in stature and revenue, and yes, I do consider it an elite league thank you very much.

"Elite" is not defined by having guys named "Beckham" or "Messi" play on one team in your league. Elite means that most of your leagues players are internationals, and you will find that to be the case even in our lesser teams.

So, I think 16 or 18 teams will not be the make or break, and like you NJ, I'd like to see someone with common sense and a touch of business savvy take the reins of the FPF.

Totally agree with Chris
17 Monday, 08 April 2013 12:53
18 clubs is a good thing. Loved your contribution, Chris (Canada).
What money?
16 Monday, 08 April 2013 12:19
Chris, I think that you misunderstand. I would love to see those iconic black & white checkered jerseys back. I actually have one framed and hanging up. I also try to catch a Belenenses match every time I'm in Portugal.
It's just that we both agree that the FPF is incompetent and there's too many club presidents that are as well.
Truthfully this won't amount too much in terms of financial gains. The big clubs will get two more home games which will only help in distancing themselves from the lesser clubs. TV revenue won't be that great.
As for the league, if you think we're an elite league because of 18 clubs because Porto & Benfica do well in European play, that's crazy. We may have historic clubs that punch well above their weight, but to think that the league is on an elite level, that's crazy. We are a feeder league with selling clubs.
You can say that we are the next or first big league after the top five. If the French government goes through with the taxing of clubs and footballers at a 75% rate for any earnings over a million, its been reported, you can expect a mass exodus of stars and foreign ownership. That would cause a huge drop in quality in Ligue 1, and provide an opportunity to increase SuperLiga's value. But that has as much to do with them as it does us.
Portugal plays attractive futebol and has talented players, but the revenue just isn't there to be elite. It's no fault of the fans, players or clubs. Economically, Portugal just doesn't have the reach of bigger countries. No shame in that. I'm very proud of our league and how we've been able to maintain European signicance.
12 teams? Remind me not to let you do my taxes...
15 Monday, 08 April 2013 00:54
Chris (Canada)
Which other elite league plays 12 teams? Ummm, there are none, unless you consider the Scottish Premier League to be elite (I don't, sorry).

The reality is that adding 2 teams to the league is not make or break. It gives 2 more teams a chance at revenue generation, which is good, but it will not fix the problems.

These same problems would persist with a 12 league team. The reality is that the FPF is inept at referee training, promotion and administration of the league, and regulating stadiums/fans.

In my opinion, 18 teams are ideal because it means a good rotation of games. Squads have a chance to try new tactics and implement new players, stadiums get more games to generate more ticket sales.

Those of you fretting about an additional 2 teams are not looking at the real issues. Sorry.

As for Boavista, I'm a Portista first and foremost, but I am also an Academica fan (which was a bit shocked to hear PE got sacked), and I also have love for Boavista.

It's a team with history and one of only 5 to win the Liga. With Belenenses back up next season, these tams will all be back and I love that. I know a lot of whiney Lisboa fans will pour on the hate, but I don't care because most of these are people who take any opportunity to hate on any non-Lisboa team.

Looking forward to seeing the checkered black and white back!

more isn't always better
14 Sunday, 07 April 2013 22:45
John M, I'm in agreement in lessening the amount of clubs in the league, I'm not a big fan of facing clubs four times.
I'm actually of the belief that if you were to have multiple "Classico's", they diminish in value. The Lisbon Derby/Classico is great twice in league play with possibilities of more in Taca and cup competitions. I think if you were to have four guaranteed with possible and most likely more to come, it cheapens it.
When Barca played Real multiple times lastcampaign was due great play and multiple competitions, not scheduling.

Yes, less clubs with a smaller scheduled lessens the leagues value. But its a fine line in remaining relevant and still financially viable. Not easy, but I feel that most realize that adding clubs is not in the best interest of the league right now.
second thoughts with John Canada
13 Sunday, 07 April 2013 18:58
1) League reduction will improve the league 2) I always liked the 12 team idea with the third game played at a neutral sight. Maybe play the league game as a doubleheader with Liga da Honra teams in the second game at their fieldds. Also reduces league games to 33, opening up schedule for Tacas, CL and Europa league teams. 3) Maybe its time for Portuguese soccer sake of eliminating promotion/ relegation and going with the 12 largest teams / fan base & attendance for economic health. Foreign playes should be restricted from playing in second tier league in order to promote Portuguese youth development. At this point I'm not sure why they even sponsor youth academies. developed foreigners are always welcome in the top tier 4) Boavista always had solid fan support, but a return to 1st tier will be more difficult because expansion will dilute avalable talent pool that would be there in normal 16 team year.
Wait... what?
12 Sunday, 07 April 2013 16:02
About the play off between the bottom 2 in the Primera Liga and the 2 teams in the Liga de Honra, that's ridiculous, it means a team can finish in the relegation zone........ and not get relegated. What on earth?
11 Sunday, 07 April 2013 15:10
John M/Canada
This is a ridiculous decision....... So Boavista, much like their city of Porto counterpart can be ruled to be corrupt, then given perks (absolutely disgusting) Many of the leagues teams are struggling to make ends meet and expansion to more squads is just not a proper viable option for the leagues future success. If anything, to make the league more successful and assist it financially, what they should be looking at is reducing the teams even further to 12 teams, with teams playing each other 3 times a season. Head to head results of the first 2 games decides the locale of the 3rd game or possibly even a neutral site for the big 4 teams third games to help spice up interest and attendance throughout the nation. Call me crazy or ahead of the game........ But even a league of 10 teams with 4 head to head match ups would create better games for a TV deal, and help out clubs financially.......especially the current mid table teams. Imagine 4 classic is or Derbys per season, not to mention the worst team one would face in a 10 team league would be the likes of a Maritimo, Rio Ave or Sporting(lol) not too shabby a game to watch if you ask me ;) thoughts?
No common sense
10 Sunday, 07 April 2013 14:42
Before even getting into the logistics of adding two more clubs to the league, lets review Boavistas current situation.

Boavista currently sits in the third division (Zona Norte), which in Portugal means Regional/District Divisions comprised of clubs with players that have other full time jobs.
They currently sit mid table of their division, closer to relegation than promotion in said league. Not necessarily the vision of health.
If its been proven that Boavista was wronged, then they deserve to be rewarded/compensated. But what makes everyone,including Boavista, think that jumping directly into the SuperLiga is the best thing? Yes they will receive TV money. They should also get some financial compensation, but as far as I know, that hasn't been mentioned. But where will the players be coming from? SuperLiga's TV revenue will not be enough to bring in enough quality. Loans? Although cheaper, that's not exactly building for the future. I'm afraid that some president and his cronies will be pocketing some nice checks in the upcoming season.
Which leads me into the other Portuguese clubs. If a playoff is instituted between the bottom two clubs (SuperLiga) and the top two clubs (Liga de Honra), that would mean Belenenses hard fought season was worth nothing. Frankly it would also mean Arouca's was all for not. Meanwhile two SuperLiga clubs will get an undeserving shot at staying up. How is changing the Promotion/Relegation rules during the campaign, in the final third of it no less, anywhere remotely fair? Can the FPF explain this?
Truth be told, FPF's resounding wisdom has always thought that adding clubs would make a stabler/better league. That state of mind couldn't be further from the truth. The big/better clubs will just be able to distance themselves further from the have nots.

Which leads me to the financial stability of clubs. There's more than one club with wage issues. Players haven't been paid in months. The added four fixtures will add almost nothing financially for the smaller clubs. Attendance is horrific for those clubs, and frankly, Benfica and Porto will gain the most. The two added home fixtures will add plenty to their coffers. Sporting, Braga, Guimaraes and Gil Vicente (should they stay up), will also profit to a lesser extent. So The gap between the haves and have nots will only widen.

I get feeling that you've been wronged, which I still doubt, but the club president needs to be smarter. Frankly if he isn't, the FPF needs to be. Unfortunately we all know that's not the case.
The SuperLiga would be healthier with less clubs, and not more. We've proven not to be financially stable enough, and the economic turmoil is only going to get worst instead of better.
I actually feel sorry for futeboler's who aren't making millions and will be begging for their wages. Olhanense players have been hoodwinked into thinking that the Benfica home will brinG in enough in attendance wages together them paid. It will never happen.
How about the FPF freezing clubs assets and finances as soon as playerS miss a months wages. While the players don't get paid the presidents don't get paid. Vendors and creditors that help keep the club afloat, yes. How about some point deductions as well. We all know that would mean presidents stealing as much as they can and not pay anybody. But that's why assets are frozen.
Yes the fans surfer. But do we actually think that Olhanense fans have European aspirations now? How about getting to see some nice futebol due to opponents, and grow little by little where that can be withing site in years, not now. Besides Benfica and Porto, only Sporting, Braga and Guimaraes have the backing (if ran properly) for CL runs. The rest need to grow little by little and get there. What Pacos has done this season is remarkable, but sustainability will be the true test.

Sorry for the rant, but this is a foolish decision. Yes if proven right they need to be compensated. But why set them up for failure and punish others as well.
MacDaddy/Montreal is right
9 Sunday, 07 April 2013 09:10
We read stories about clubs not being able to pay their wages because these clubs do not have the financial capabilities to compete in the top league. So what does the FPF decide? To increase the number of teams in the top league. Well that will certainly fix things (not).
happy with the decision
8 Sunday, 07 April 2013 08:59
Im happy with the decision. Another two previous winners back in the comp (Boavista and Belenenses). We just need a team from the Acores and with this decision Santa Clara could well be placed to get into the final 3-4 spot and claim a play-off
At Least Two Teams Too Many
7 Sunday, 07 April 2013 02:13
We don't need this for league health. This will just add two more teams with financial problems.
6 Saturday, 06 April 2013 23:18
Im very excited for this to happen! I know there will be many out there criticising this decision saying expansion to 18 teams shouldnt happen and Boavista should only go back to 2nd division. Well poo to you because i and many people out there are looking at the positive side to this. A team who it seems got rorted is getting a second chance, the damage has still been done but its now in Boavistas hands to make a new history for themselves.
As a fan of the liga how could anyone not be excited about having Boavista and Belenenses back in our competition in the one go. the fact we have more teams and more rounds is exciting to.

There has been so much to be excited about this year with the title race, relelgation battle, european spots and now theres just even more with all this change i love it! So all you negative nancys get over it excited times await!
Promotions/relegations after Boavista decision
5 Saturday, 06 April 2013 22:58
Tom Kundert/Lisbon
@Rene @Eric

Good questions. All the details regarding how to get the extra team in the top flight and the knock-on implications lower down the pyramid are not yet fully defined. It seems that as well as the two clubs promoted as usual from the 2nd tier, there will be a play-off tournament between the next two clubs and the two who finished last in the top flight, and the winner will go up. But like I said, I don't think it has been defined yet.

Also the FPF (Portuguese Football Federation) have to ratify the decision to promote Boavista back up and enlarge the liga before it becomes official. But it is expected to do so.

Keep an eye on the site and my Twitter account over the coming days.

4 Saturday, 06 April 2013 22:11
This is weird to me. there's 18 teams now. So Boavista goes up i get that (stupid) Belenenses moves up. 2 teams go down an other 2 go up as well? im confused? Leixoes and aves? (as of right now) am i correct?
Promotion from third to second
3 Saturday, 06 April 2013 21:49
Dear tom

I am a farense fan from rotterdam. Do you know (after today's decisions) how many teams from the 3rd division will promote? Normally only the champions. Farense will likely finish second

Best regards
Portuguese League
2 Saturday, 06 April 2013 20:26
So there will be 18 clubs in the Liga ZON Sagres! That's wonderful news! And with Boavista, and Belenenses who's going to be promoted, this is going to be a good update for the Portuguese top division. Immensely happy about the news!
H Why I Why?
1 Saturday, 06 April 2013 18:23
Typical FPF catering to the big teams in Portugal. Why not let Boavista actually try to come back to the Liga on their own. Did you see the Italians try to bring up Juve when they went down? Also is our Liga really going back to 18 clubs? Do they not know how the smaller teams in this league are doing? Every season we hear teams in Portugal going through money issues and it won't change anytime soon because this league is ran by monkeys.

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