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Paulistao Semi-Finals begin today (Sunday April 11)

Canuck Oranje

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The four semi-finalists begin their quest for the title today (Sunday April 11). They are Santos, Sao Paulo FC, Santo Andre and Gremio – SP (officially Gremio Prudente). Sao Paulo and Santos would not be surprises, Santo Andre and Gremio – SP are big surprises. Given the predetermined format used to set semi-final match-ups, Sao Paulo will play a two-game home and away series against Santos. Santo Andre plays against Gremio – SP. While most Brazilian fans will be watching the Santos – Sao Paulo match-up, the developing Gremio-SP story continues to fascinate.

Gremio-SP or Gremio Prudente was known before late-February as Gremio Barueri or just Barueri. It changed its name once the transfer of the club to Presidente Prudente was legally completed, even though all home games in the Paulistao were already scheduled to take place in Presidente Prudente. Since it was officially known as Gremio Prudente (or referred to as Gremio-SP to bridge the name change), it has not yet lost a game (nine games so far). It was the push in the last half of the Paulistao that allowed the club to slip into the semi-finals. This all happened after its eight of its successful 2009 starting eleven was lured away with big contracts to the much more prestigious clubs like Internacional, Sao Paulo FC, Corinthians, Vasco and Fluminense. Two other starters (making it ten starters), along with a number of roster players also were not resigned after the 2009 season.

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The national tournament is the big one. Copa do Brasil, in my opinion, is a poor excuse for a cup tournament because many of the better teams do not participate due to various reasons (Libertadores or others not being eligible because of the participation limits places on the better quality States like Sao Paulo).

The answer to how fans see the State tournaments depends on the State and how well your club is doing. At the same time, classico matchups always draw well.

For example, the Sao Paulo State Championship was still hotly contested by about 7-8 clubs this year. Attendance at Corinthians and Santos averaged over 10K and Palmeiras and Sao Paulo were over 8K. I know it sounds low but these are averages and when the opponent is someone like Monte Azul, it pulls down the averages. Generally, most of what i have heard is that attendance was what would be expected.

Also keep in mind, TV money is what clubs are after. There was a report after Corinthians lost out on making it to the second round that said that failing to win the State title would cost Corinthians at least R$5 million or $2.5-3.0 million with R$ 2million being the prize money for the winning side. The rest is lost revenue games and television.

Other State championships are not as competitive so I suspect the attendance is lower overall.

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I have to add though that the first round of the Paulistao begins with a bit of a preseason feel. But as the rounds accumulate, the competition gets a little stronger. If a club still has a chance at the halfway point, it gets even more serious. And the fans begin to take it more seriously. Gremio Prudente is a good example. In the first nine rounds of the first phase, attendance was low with the exception of the Palmeiras game. Once the club was legally established in the city and began to win, fans began to stream into the stadium. If it were to make it through to final against either Santos or Sao Paulo, the game in Presidente Prudente would likely more than 20,000 fans in the stands.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The second leg of the final between Santos and Santo Andre is about to start and being shown Live on GolTV. Santos lead 3-2 after the first leg.

Holy crap! Santo Andre take the lead 30 seconds into the match. A beautiful incisive ball into the box, forward (Rodriguinho?) rounds the goalie and crosses in front for his wide open partner Nunes to tap it in.

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Santos draw even a few minutes later. Teen sensation Neymar sprung loose on a one-touch pass in the box, rounds the keeper, hesitation move on the defender and buries it in the open net.

And just minutes later Santo Andre appear to take back the lead, but the goal is called back incorrectly...and then a minute later Santo Andre do take the lead off a corner. 1-2 Santo Andre and aggregate 4-4.

Now a double red, Nunes forward and goalscorer for Santo Andre is gone and so is Leo for Santos (a defender i think).

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Neymar scored again to level the game at 2-2, well placed shot from 15 yards inside the near post. Santo Andre goes right back down the field and takes the lead again 3-2. It's all knotted on aggregate 5-5 with both teams scoring 3 away goals. In the earlier knockout rounds they were using the teams finish in tournament as the tiebreaker, don't know if that holds true in the final as well?

Santos finish with 8 men to Santo Andres' 10 men and hold on for a 2-3 loss at home and a 5-5 aggregate draw...and indeed, the tiebreaker is which team finished ahead in the final Paulista standings and thereby handing the title to Santos...dumb.

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CO, can you have a look at these salary figures for the 2009 Braslieirao:

Team - Payroll/month - Spending for point

1) Internacional - R$ 3,2 milhões - R$ 400 mil

2) Santos - R$ 2 milhões - R$ 300 mil

3) Fluminense - R$ 1,7 milhão - R$ 300 mil

4) Palmeiras - R$ 2,8 milhões - R$ 275,4 mil

5) São Paulo - R$ 2,3 milhões - R$ 225,5 mil

6) Flamengo - R$ 2 milhões - R$ 210,5 mil

7) Atlético/MG - R$ 1,2 milhão - R$ 175,6 mil

8) Atlético/PR - R$ 1 milhão - R$ 171,4 mil

9) Cruzeiro - R$ 1,5 milhão - R$ 155,2 mil

10) Botafogo - R$ 1,2 milhão - R$ 146,9 mil

11) Sport - R$ 800 mil - R$ 114,2 mil

12) Coritiba - R$ 890 mil - R$ 108,9 mil

13) Náutico - R$ 650 mil - R$ 108,3 mil

14) Vitória - R$ 800 mil - R$ 106,6 mil

15) Vasco - R$ 600 mil - R$ 105,8 mil

16) Goiás - R$ 700 mil - R$ 87,5 mil

17) Grêmio - R$ 850 mil - R$ 85 mil

I question whether these monthly figures are based on a 12 months calendar and perhaps are actually based on the length of the National tournaments (ie. total yearly salary divided by 5 or 6 months of the national champ). What do you think?

As perspective, i've added these individual salary figures (i think you posted these a while ago)


Salários dos jogadores Brasileiros 2009 (no Brasil):

Jogadores Clube Mensal Anual

1 Ronaldo Corinthians 300.000 € 3.600.000 €

2 Adriano Flamengo 141.600 € 1.700.000 €

3 Fred Fluminense 120.000 € 1.440.000 €

4 Dodo Fluminense 80.000 € 960.000 €

5 Fabão Santos 80.000 € 960.000 €

6 Kleber Pereira Santos 80.000 € 960.000 €

7 Edmilson Palmeiras 73.700 € 885.000 €

8 Leandro Amaral Fluminense 70.000 € 840.000 €

9 Kleberson Flamengo 62.000 € 745.000 €

10 Zé Roberto Flamengo 62.000 € 745.000 €

11 Gilberto Cruzeiro 60.000 € 720.000 €

12 Jorge Wagner São Paulo 60.000 € 720.000 €

13 Kleber Internacional 55.800 € 670.000 €

14 Juan Flamengo 55.000 € 660.000 €

15 Bruno Flamengo 52.000 € 625.000 €

16 Leo Moura Flamengo 52.000 € 625.000 €

17 Souza Corinthians 50.000 € 600.000 €

18 Edu Corinthians 50.000 € 600.000 €

19 Dagoberto São Paulo 47.900 € 575.000 €

20 Diego Souza Palmeiras 47.900 € 575.000 €

21 Hernanes São Paulo 45.000 € 540.000 €

22 Fabricio Cruzeiro 45.000 € 540.000 €

23 Diego Tardelli Atletico BH 45.000 € 540.000 €

24 Denis Marques Flamengo 43.700 € 525.000 €

25 Diguinho Fluminense 42.000 € 505.000 €

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I'm not sure where your numbers come from but I would have thought Corinthians would have been near the top of the list. Secondly, I suspect the first number is monthly team payroll but with a twist. I'm not sure what the second is.

Using the list of players from Futebol finance and the monthly number in Euros for Fluminense, I count four players about 312,000 Euros /month. Using a rough exchange rate of 1Euro = R$2.5 or R$780,000 or approx. R$800,000 monthly for those four players.

For me, a monthly team payroll of R$1.7 million is probably in the ball park. But consider a couple of key points.

First, think of these players like MLS DPs. These individual salaries are likely substantially higher than standard roster players. That's not to say that there may be a few more players at Fluminense with higher than average salaries. I think a monthly salary of say, R$20,000/month would still get you a lot of quality players in Brazil.

Secondly, Fluminense is a basket case financially. It like many other clubs live hand-to-mouth because of massive debt loads. Clubs in Brazil typically are able to pay the salaries of these DP-like players by directly matching them with sponsors and many times salaries or parts of salaries are directly paid by sponsors. The question I would have is whether these numbers only include club-paid salary. I suspect so. And it explains why Flamengo is only at position six in terms of monthly payroll because it and Corinthians would have the greatest leverage with sponsors (being the most popular clubs). This is a practice that is used even by clubs with solid financials.

Finally, I am also not sure what players were used to calculate the monthly payroll. Clubs in Brazil, as you know, have huge rosters with some having more than 200 professional contracts (albeit most would be miniscule). There are probably some assumptions made, either a set number or a method that identifies players who have participated for the club in the Brasileirao. I also assume that the monthly payroll is average because in Brazil players come and go throughout the tournament. The rules around roster changes are quite liberal with the keys being that a player cannot compete for another Serie A club after having played six games for another Serie A club and no further additions can be made to the tournament roster after September.

On the spending per point, i'm not sure how they calculated that. The tournament runs from May to the end of November so they may include only 7-8 months or ?

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On the second Santos - Santo Andre game, Santo Andre was extremely unlucky. At the same time, they were undisciplined in the first half and ended up receiving a number of yellow cards as a result. Those, I think, changed their aggressiveness in the second half. Generally, officiating needs to improve in Brazil. I'm not sure if it is as biased as some think but it is often poor quality.

On the tiebreaker, I agree it is different and I would prefer the more standard method. But the clubs know what it is going in and play accordingly. Santo Andre eliminated Gremio Prudente in exactly the same way and with some controversy as well. There was also an equal amount of disatisfaction with the result on the losing side. So, some times you win by it and other times, you lose by it.

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