Now that 12 rounds have been completed in the first phase of the Paulistao, it has become clearer what the outcome is likely to be in the competition.Big Four
The big four are the big four. This year, it is clearer than ever that the big clubs simply are superior to the others. The superiority of the big clubs is certain to spark even more debate over the Sao Paulo federations practice of giving a disproportionately larger share of TV revenue those four clubs. Even Portuguesa
and Ponte Preta
In the end, this financial favouritism of the big four clubs is all very short-sighted and likely to further diminish the importance of the state competitions. While the big four clubs and their fans may feel it is justified, the total TV revenue pie will likely to become much smaller than it would be if the Paulistao was able to generate some broader based competition. A lesson that many football/soccer leagues (including La Liga in Spain) need to learn is that good competition among a broader base of league participants tends to generate more for all including the largest clubs. One only has to look at the NFL (an American football league in the USA) where teams like Green Bay (a city of 100,000 that is two hours by car away from any major city) can compete successfully. The NFL is a league where 10 clubs have market values exceeding $1 billion US (http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/30/nfl ... _land.html
) and that compares favourably with similar valuations of the World’s most valuable football/soccer clubs (http://www.forbes.com/2011/04/20/worlds ... slide.html
). In Brazil, it is doubtful that Santos
would even be the club that it is today if this unequal revenue generation existed 60 years ago because Santos would not have been able to hold on to Pele. With a strengthening economy, it’s time for big clubs in Brazil to see the potential of growing the total revenue pie rather than starving potential new competitors by being greedy with the existing pie.Surprises among The Rest
The biggest positive surprise has to be Mogi Mirim
. The club seems to have done well in assembling a team. While some of those players are under contract until the end of the year, many are essentially rentals (on loan). It is uncertain whether they will be able to compete if they are selected for participation in Serie D nationally.Guarani
is a club that still has financial issues stalking it. If it hits a financial wall, the club’s position in this tournament could tumble. I still expect that it will fall out of the top eight because of financial issues.
On the down side, XV de Piracicaba
is a surprise for me. It is a surprise because the club clearly has greater resources than a number of other clubs in the competition ahead of it. While their fate appears almost certain, it does need to be highlighted that the club now has Estevao Soares as its new coach and recently signed Tiago Luis from Santos on loan, Diguinho (ex-Ceara), and Rafael Santos (ex-Atletico Paranaense). However, their hole is so deep that it is unlikely that it will be able to avoid relegation.
In the same situation is Comercial
. The club is backed by wealthy interests but seems to have put too much of its fate in the hands of older players. Many on their roster would be players that would be much better 10 years earlier. Still in an effort to avoid relegation, they have hired Geninho as their coach and added Leandro (ex-Vasco, Sao Paulo, & Gremio), Ricardo Conceicao (ex-Vitoria & Santo Andre), and Alex (ex-Red Bull Salzburg). The question for this club too is whether they can make up the difference needed to climb out of the relegation. Comercial
and XV de Piracicaba
have to be relegation favourites but it would not be a surprise if either made a late surge with games less frequent now that the Copa do Brasil has begun and neither participating in that tournament. At the same time, Guarani
are participants in the Copa do Brasil and may not have the necessary roster depth to compete in both and there are still seven games to go in the Paulistao.