Sporting success: how Portuguese champions plotted their way back | David Hytner

When manager Rúben Amorim took over in 2020 the relationship between the board and fans was at rock bottomWhen Sporting parted company with their manager, Silas, on 4 March 2020, it was easy to wonder when the upheaval would end. The Lisbon club sat fourth in the Primeira Liga, four points off third-placed Braga and 20 behind the leaders, Porto, and were about to appoint their fourth manager of the season. He would be the sixth of the presidency of Frederico Varandas, who had taken over in September 2018 from the controversial Bruno de Carvalho.Sporting remained haunted by the notorious training-ground attack of May 2018, when 50 hooligans – incensed by poor results – stormed the premises to beat up players and staff. In May of last year, a Portuguese court made 41 convictions for assault and threatening behaviour, with nine men receiving five-year prison sentences. De Carvalho was cleared of having helped to mastermind the episode. Sporting said it had left “an indelible mark on the club and its fans”. Continue reading...

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