It seems like the only thing we talk about in Brasília is the pending pension system reform. Indeed, the costly pension system took up an estimated 7.4 percent of Brazil’s GDP in 2016. In 2017, social security will reach 181.2 billion BRL in debt, a 21 percent increase from this year.
What we often overlook is how much of the deficit belongs to our beloved football teams. In fact, the amount of money teams owe to the federal pension system amounts to 800 million BRL. Flamengo, the country’s most popular team, has the biggest debt: over 83.8 million BRL.
TV channel Sportv elaborated a ranking of the 20 most indebted Brazilian football clubs, after having access to public data from the Brazilian National Department of Treasury.
Lack of professionalism
The numbers are a testimony of how Brazilian football administrations remain unprofessional. But they are not the only ones to blame. Authorities have also contributed to such a scenario, as auditors and prosecutors are often contaminated by their passion.
According to the law, the non-payment of social security obligations could have serious implications for teams – including relegation to inferior divisions. However, prosecutors often give teams a pass and renegotiate the debts.
“Indeed, passion gets in the way of any discussion involving football. We have to treat these clubs like any other company,” said Anelize Almeida, director of the National Treasury Attorney’s Office, during an interview to Sportv.
Football is a national passion, of course, but at what cost?