Exclusive: Manchester City secure deal for first refusal on Brazilian talent

Link up with two Portuguese clubs will give Premier League side a competitive advantage in the recruitment of Brazilian players

Manchester City have secured a commercial interest in two Portuguese clubs that will give them a competitive advantage in the recruitment of Brazilian players and may boost future attempts to pass Uefa's Financial Fair Play test.

City are providing "scouting, marketing and merchandising advice" at Gil Vicente, a club in northern Portugal, and also pursuing shares in Boavista, the Porto-based club, according to sources in that country.

City's advantage in recruiting Brazilian players would stem from a Portuguese immigration treaty with Brazil, its former colony, which confers the same rights on Brazilians as Portuguese workers. City could use the clubs to develop players for whom they are unable to secure UK work permits – then move them to Manchester once they have acquired the requisite experience to qualify for a UK permit, or sell them for profit. Since third-party ownership of players, outlawed in Britain, is also permitted, Portugal provides potential for City to have first call on players who could thus be bought cheaply.

Gil Vicente, with seven Brazilians on their books, said the City partnership would bring it "sustainability, projection, prestige" and an "international dimension". Deals with the two clubs may also help City account for some of the huge revenues they have claimed for the sale of their intellectual property to "related parties" – £22.45m in the recently published 2012/13 annual accounts – in order to help pass their impending FFP test. City must show as much revenue as possible to offset losses and come within the FFP figure of £37m lost over the last two seasons.

City say they earned the £22.45m by selling scouting and commercial services to their own Melbourne Heart soccer franchise, Manchester City Ladies FC and their New York City FC – City's new Major League Soccer club. But Melbourne was only bought last month and the women's team requires an entirely different scouting system to the men's side. Analysts are subsequently baffled as to how the new US venture could possibly have contributed so substantially to City's revenues.

The new Portuguese ventures may generate intellectual property sales to boost City's hopes of FFP compliance, though both are modestly financed clubs.

The deals, which the club declined to discuss this weekend, appear to have been engineered by City's Partnership Sales Manager, Francisco Lampreia, who was formerly marketing director at Boavista. Lampreia and City chief executive Ferran Soriano visited Boavista three months ago and appear to be seeking a share in the club.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions