Professional Portuguese football club, Sporting Clube de Portugal, or Sporting CP, will be undergoing a mass exodus of high quality talent this summer, despite finishing in third place in the league table and qualifying for the Europa League.
Why would seven first team players want to leave such a successful club?
Well, the exodus comes after a group of approximately 50 masked fans attacked the players during a training session on Tuesday, May 12. Dutch scorer Bast Dost was left needing stitches in his head, after the armed attackers caught the players by surprise in their dressing room.
According Euro Football Daily, if club president Bruno de Carvalho steps down, the players would rescind their resignations, as it was expected that de Carvalho himself organized the attacks.
Due to misconduct of an employee, in this case, club president Bruno de Carvalho, it is reported that the following players are sighting ‘just cause’, which justifies their immediate termination, in turn making them free agents: Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton Wanderers), William Carvalho, Gelson Martins, Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Ribeiro, Bas Dost and Daniel Podence.
Bruno de Carvalho seems to be staying in power and has said he will fight any move away from the club in court, although if changes in Lisbon are to be made, they will have a major impact on the landscape of European Football, as a handful of their departing players will find themselves on clubs competing in Champions and Europa League competitions.
It is an unfortunate time to be a Sporting CP fan, as it is clear rivals S.L. Benfica and FC Porto will continue their domestic dominance with even less resistance.