NEW BOSS PROMISES THREE-HORSE-RACE
Sporting’s new manager Jorge Jesus promised a quick return to the title race in the upcoming season as he was unveiled to the fans for the first time.
With his contract with Benfica now expired, Jesus joins Sporting after five years and three league titles with their city rivals, signing a three-year-deal with the green half of Lisbon believed to be worth up to €6 million-a-year with the inclusion of bonuses.
The 61-year-old wasted no time and clarified to the thousands in attendance at the Estádio José Alvalade that the league title would be the club’s main priority ahead of the 2015/2016 season.
“It’s about time that Sporting took up its position as a candidate for all titles,” declared Jesus to a euphoric set of fans.
“From now on, Portuguese football will not have two, but three teams fighting for the title. It’s time to wake up this lion.”
Jesus’ energy and enthusiasm was reciprocated by the fans who chanted his and the president’s name, dwarfing claims that the fan base had been severely fractured following the sacking of previous boss and now Olympiakos manager Marco Silva.
Silva was dismissed by Sporting after he allegedly refused to comply to the club’s dress code in a cup game last season, meanwhile also being accused of missing various important meetings and holding talks with rival club Porto behind the Lisbon outfit’s back.
Critics of the manner in which Silva was sacked believe all the accusations thrown against Silva were used so that Sporting could appoint Jesus and dismiss the current Olympiakos man without having to pay his compensation fee, a fee which he has now waived.
The unveiling of Sporting’s new boss was also marked by the ‘Welcome Home’ tribute paid to the 61-year-old ex-Benfica man via a short video clip.
Jesus, registered as the 3,289th member of the club, played for Sporting in the 1975/76 season, whereas his father, Virgolino, also played for the green half of Sporting.
For Jesus, the hard work starts next week, as he welcomes back the majority of his current squad on the 6th July ahead of the new season.