Murky goings-on in Brazil? (1 Viewer)

Nicole

Senior Member
Sep 16, 2004
7,561
#1
As Corinthians pushes its 2005 spending on new players past the $50 million mark with Javier Mascherano, Goal.com correspondent Aaron Marcus has a dip in the murky waters of the newest Brazilian football partnership.
Let’s play Club President. You’re up to your ears in debt, barely keeping your club from bankruptcy, your last partnership went up in a puff of sulphurous smoke, your board is split down the middle and spends most of its time on internecine personal vendettas, former players are dragging you into court, you’re renting a stadium because your own is in dire need of refurbishment and you’ve sold off your best players for paltry sums.

To add insult to injury the conveyor belt from your youth academy is broken, your signings over the past two years have been largely of the revolving door type, you’re going through coaches like an incontinent goes through underpants and last year you had your fans turning up outside your home to scream for your blood and pelt your mansion with eggs.

One fine day someone offers to take care of those crippling debts and sign players of undisputed quality that would usually be heading for the European elite. Do you say no? Game on for Alberto Dualib, S.C. Corinthians president and Corinthians’ new partnership with M.S.I. (Media Sports Investments). On paper it seems like a godsend, so why is the whole thing shrouded in mystery?

First of all you have to understand the Brazilian love of soap operas, particularly when they’re packed with two-faced villains and – joy of joys – when they give the opportunity for endless speculation of what is really going on. Add this to the lunchtime and evening sports shows on public television (no less than six programmes daily) presided over by finger-jabbing rumour-mongers whose jobs depend on high audiences and consequent advertising revenues.

Throw in the large dose of inter-club rivalry that still causes pitched battles on streets and in stadiums every weekend. Let’s not forget those bickering board members and their various media and political connections. Voila – the Brazilian recipe for disaster; not as tasty as a ‘caipirinha’ but just as likely to leave you with a splitting headache and a queasy desire to shy away from bright lights.

All of these factors are a constant here and veterans of the scene are able to defuse, or endlessly delay, such problems with relative ease. What builds this particular case into enough of a powder-keg to threaten the deal with a low-earth orbit is the appearance (and identity) of M.S.I. international director Kia Joorabchian – and the non-appearance of his backers.

Kia is a fresh-faced 33/34 (?) year-old, basset eyes framed by hair flopping in the style favoured by English public-schoolboys and an accent to match. This created immediate and widespread distrust as to how such a young unknown could be the sole face of a multi-million dollar, and similarly unknown, investment company.

Matters were not helped by question marks dotting his name. Local football paper ‘Lance’ unveiled that through Companies House – the U.K. limited company registry – he appeared as;

 Kia Kiavash, Canadian, Flat 7, 9 Abbey Road, London. D.O.B. 25/07/1971 Company : Karmaa Ltd.

 Kiavash Joorabchian, Canadian, Flat 7, 9 Abbey Road, London. D.O.B. 14/07/1971 Company : Karmaa Ltd.

 Kiavash Joorabchian, British, 101 Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London. D.O.B. 14/07/1971 Company : Iran Investment & Development Corporation.

 Kia Joorabchian, British, 24 Bancroft Avenue, London. D.O.B. 14/07/1970 Company : Branchase Ltd. (dissolved)

Appearance, real name, nationality (a hint of xenophobia in the prodding of this aspect) date of birth and address of the company director aside, who is behind M.S.I.?

Kia has stated repeatedly that the financial backers wish to remain anonymous, which would probably remain unquestioned if M.S.I. had a proven track record of legal investments. Unfortunately it doesn’t - hence the multiplication of rumours varying from the laughable to the seriously worrying.

The most consistent has been that the company is a front for money laundering, whether it be from arms dealing or organised crime located in ex-Soviet republics – Georgia is the state that crops up most frequently and Boris Berezovsky the alleged kingpin behind M.S.I. Even the more respectable Roman Abramovich has been mentioned, Corinthians supposedly being a funnel for the talents of South America to end up at the orders of Jose Mourinho.

Club President Alberto Dualib – who, pre-M.S.I., was tottering due to the twin challenges of old age and poor performance – joined Kia to declare in front of GAECO (anti-organised crime task force). According to district attorney Jose Reinaldo Guimarães Carneiro, this was to clarify information that had appeared in the press speculating about the origin of the M.S.I. money. They were followed by the odd-couple pairing of Corinthians vice presidents Antonio Roque Citadini (anti-M.S.I.) and Paulo Angioni (pro-M.S.I., rather naturally as Kia’s appointed him director of M.S.I. in Brazil.)

To coin a phrase, the jury’s still out on that one, although the real question is still how M.S.I. are going to make anything on the deals they’ve put through so far. With Carlitos Tevez costing $20 million and Mascherano $15 million – to quote the two most expensive signings so far – and the European market shrinking back from the boom days of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, where’s the profit margin?

If Kia’s claims that the players are staying in Corinthians to see out their contracts can be believed, frowns deepen – the Libertadores, prestigious as it is, is financially insignificant in comparison with the head-spinning sums awarded by Uefa in the Champions League. This adds weight to the claim that there is some dry-cleaning of blood-spattered or corruption-tainted money going on. After all, a smaller quantity of crisp, clean cash is better than a mountain of millions that you can’t use.

For the good of Corinthians – and above all Brazilian and South American football in general – let’s hope that the surreal accusations are as fake as the plot of a soap opera, and that we can shift our worries back to where they belong; the football pitch. If not – tears galore, game over and M.S. goodbye.
 

Zlatan

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
23,035
#2
Ch€l$ea. Apparantly, MSI is tied to Russian "businessmen", and Abramovich's yacht was seen in Buenos Aires and the time of Tevez's transfer, and he was seen having lunch with Boca's president. He's making Corinthians his feeder club.
 
Jul 12, 2002
5,666
#11
Since when has it been suspicous to dump tons of cash into a football club without the slightest hint of a return? They've been doing it for decades...

On another note, I think that Abramovic has proven by now that he does business in a manner that is not sporting and in a manner that is detrimental to the game. His various "connections" around the world are rather dubius and even his accumulated wealth has some serious shadows around it. I hope that they rename Chelsea, because the team that exists now is not Chelsea and is a slap in the face to any fan of Chelsea before Abramovic. Furthermore, is it not possible to ban Abramovic from the game?
 

chelski

Junior Member
Feb 20, 2005
66
#12
++ [ originally posted by Ian ] ++
Since when has it been suspicous to dump tons of cash into a football club without the slightest hint of a return? They've been doing it for decades...

On another note, I think that Abramovic has proven by now that he does business in a manner that is not sporting and in a manner that is detrimental to the game. His various "connections" around the world are rather dubius and even his accumulated wealth has some serious shadows around it. I hope that they rename Chelsea, because the team that exists now is not Chelsea and is a slap in the face to any fan of Chelsea before Abramovic. Furthermore, is it not possible to ban Abramovic from the game?
couldnt agree more.
 

Chxta

Di nwayi
Nov 1, 2004
12,083
#14
++ [ originally posted by Zlatan ] ++




On what grounds? We do live in a democracy you know. ;)
Sadly true... this democracy thing can be very tasking on patience sometimes. Once in while I remember the days of military dictatorship in my country with a touch of nostalgia. :touched:
 
Jan 7, 2004
29,704
#15
++ [ originally posted by chxta ] ++
Sadly true... this democracy thing can be very tasking on patience sometimes. Once in while I remember the days of military dictatorship in my country with a touch of nostalgia. :touched:

i know what you mean. those certantly had some benefits
 

swag

L'autista
Administrator
Sep 23, 2003
76,322
#16
Never underestimate the capacity for mankind to kill the hen that lays golden eggs. The shady injection of cash that Roman has brought to the sport may have shaken things up to make it more interesting in some regards, but he's also dumping gasoline on the pre-existing fire that was started by reckless and unsustainable economics on behalf of many major clubs.

In the short term, his actions may seem to look good for the club. But the reality is that they are dragging down and accelerating the economic demise of the very sport upon which his investments depend upon.
 

Rami

The Linuxologist
Dec 24, 2004
8,065
#17
++ [ originally posted by Zlatan ] ++




On what grounds? We do live in a democracy you know. ;)
well then lets just hope his releationship falls with president Putin:)...thats gotta stop him!!
 

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