Bruno de Carvalho: "I am still the president" as he returned to Alvalade
Exiled Sporting president, and controversial figure, Bruno de Carvalho has forced himself into the headlines yet again by making the audacious claim that he still remains the president of the club.
Speaking to journalists in Lisbon during the day, he stated that "it is logical that I am still the president [of Sporting]", stating that he also had documentation from the courts to prove that he was illegally removed from office.
Returning to Alvalade, the base of Sporting CP, in a bid to regain control of the club, he also claimed that "there was not or could not be any act of expulsion" when he was removed from his position during the General Assembly on 23 June, and reiterated that he is still, legally, the club's president.
His intention was to therefore reclaim his presidential position with immediate effect.
The acting president of Sporting, Sousa Cintra, refuted the claims, indicating that the supposed court injunction that ruled in Bruno de Carvalho's favour was actually fictitious and simply did not exist, and Carvalho was expelled from Sporting's base in Alvalade. However, whether his removal was indeed fully legal is yet to be conclusively established.
Cintra also stated that "they (the players) are professionals and know that it is untrue, it is further destabilisation (on the part of Bruno de Carvalho)." He also stated that he "wants to speak to the players before the match [tomorrow against Setubal]" as "the worst thing that could happen is to have doubts before the game".
Bruno de Carvalho therefore failed in his most recent attempt to reclaim his former power, although will still be hoping to at least be considered as a candidate for the upcoming leadership election - which occurs early next month - having initially been denied the right to re-run for office.
Carvalho, it can be recalled, publicly criticised his players after their Europa League first leg defeat to Atletico Madrid last season, while he was also in office when a group of 'fans' attacked Sporting's coaching staff and players before their Portuguese Cup Final against Aves. They subsequently lost 2-1.
In the aftermath of the violence, several key Sporting players terminated their contracts with the club, citing "just cause", while the likes of Bas Dost and Bruno Fernandes are thought to have returned to the club on the condition that Bruno de Carvalho is no longer at the healm. His attempts to regain power could cause a rift in a changing room, and could be perceived as a selfish act, with Carvalho failing to put the interests of the club ahead of his own.