Having been knocked back by Santos in Brazil and Socheaux in France, Chelsea’s proposed multi-club network might get started with Portimonense in Portugal instead. According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea’s owners and
CEO President of Business Tom Glick (who has a fair bit of experience in this sort of thing) are “in talks” with the Portuguese top division side, who were apparently recommended as a target ripe for acquisition by super-agent Jorge Mendes.
Portimonense are a 108-year-old institution, founded in 1914, and had enjoyed their greatest successes back in the 1980s. Located in the Algarve region in the south of the country, in Portimão, they recently returned to the Primeira Liga, finishing in the bottom half of the table in each of those five seasons. (They were supposed to get relegated at the end of 2019-20, but Vitória de Setúbal dropped out instead due to licensing issues.)
Player-turned-agent-turned-shady-dealer Theodoro Fonseca appears to be the majority shareholder at Portimonense, and he was reportedly in talks with Manchester City over a partnership a couple years ago, but the could not agree on a price (he apparently wanted £133m, just the £100m more than City were offering). More recently, Portimonense, long seen as a feeder club to FC Porto, have been caught up in the legal scandals surrounding that club. What’s a bit of fraud and match-fixing between friends, right? So it’s all a bit murky and uncomfortable.
In any case, I guess we’ll just to wait and see if we can rescue them from being the plaything of super-agents, and turn them into being a plaything of super-clubs. Yay!