Fraud charges against Allianz Parque operator


Palmeiras opens police investigation against the company responsible for Allianz Parque Image: Allianz Parque, Roberto Sabino, CC BY 2.0

The Brazilian professional football club Palmeiras recently launched police investigation against Real Arenas, the company that runs the show of their home pitch – Allianz Parque – over alleged financial irregularities.

‘’ stated that Palmeiras has alleged that the construction company WTorre-owned Real Arenas is sitting on a debt pile totaling more than R$127m (£20.1m/€23.5m/$25.2m) as of March thus leaving the club bleeding white and has not even given the club its due share from the revenue earned for years together.

Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, commonly known as Palmeiras, is a Brazilian professional football club based in the City of São Paulo, in the district of Perdizes, Brazil. Palmeiras is one of the most popular clubs in South America, with around 16 million supporters and more than 130,000 affiliated fans. They play in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the top of the Brazilian football league system.

Allianz Parque, also known as Palestra Itália Arena, is a multipurpose stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, built to hold shows, concerts, corporate events, and especially football matches of Palmeiras as the venue serves as the top-flight’s residence. The stadium has a capacity to hold 43,713 spectators.

‘’ further stated that the top-flight has alleged that since their home arena Allianz Parque opened in November 2014, the Real Arenas has paid just seven months’ worth of the money it owes to Palmeiras, and this has resulted in the club suffering “huge financial losses”.

Palmeiras said that due to this “embezzlement of funds” the club has been forced to launch police investigation against Real Arenas.

According to a document sent to the 24th Police Department, Palmeiras is demanding that the accounts of Real Arenas be seized as the company has “flouted all banking norms”.

As per the 30-year agreement inked between the club and Real Arenas, the club is entitled to a percentage of the revenue earned in the form of events held in the arena apart from the naming rights. Twenty five (25) percent of the revenue earned since the opening of the facility in November 2014 has to be given to ‘Verdão’. However, the club has alleged that since November 2014, the club has been given 25 percent of the revenue earned only for the first seven months – between November and December 2014 and January and June 2015 – with the exception of May this year. The top flight further alleged that all these years the construction company WTorre which owns Real Arenas has falsely showed on papers that it is regularly giving Palmeiras its share of the revenue whereas in reality the “payment has never been done”.

Crying Foul

The Real Arenas sent out a statement refuting the above charges and denounced the President of Palmeiras, Leela Pereira, for leveling “false charges and trying to damage the reputation of the company”.

The statement added that Real Arenas has invested “substantial amount of money in Allianz Parque, considered the best arena in Latin America”.

The Real Arenas authorities threatened to “drag to court Palmeiras for leveling false allegations. The club took a unilateral decision to involve the police without caring to consult us even once.”

The Allianz Parque’s agreement with WTorre is valid till November 2044.

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