Sporting Club de Portugal have found themselves entangled in yet another dark story, as dismissed former President Bruno de Carvalho has been forced to defend himself against social media fraudulence claims.
In another bizarre set of circumstances for the club, it has been revealed that Sporting CP spent half a million euros per annum on what is being called a 'dirty campaign'.
Revealed by Record (via Correio da Manha), a statement reads: "this form of communication was fundamental to Bruno de Carvalho and to the 'war' made to Benfica, and this was the way of spreading unconfirmed information, half truths or simple rumours.
"The authorities knew that the mechanisms available to the Judiciary do not facilitate and that such situations would later be possible to criminalize. "
It is said that an unnamed communications company created anonymous blogs, burner accounts, and fake social media handles to combat bad press. This ignominy comes after de Carvalho was discharged of his duties by Sporting's board members last month.
With the vote affirming a 71.36% lack of confidence in his stewardship, the President was ousted after five years in charge. Afterwards, his Facebook remark was rambling and vicious. de Carvalho called the result: "one of the greatest frauds ever seen" and said it was perpetuated by "a bunch cretins who rigged the vote."
These comments come after a testing year for Sporting CP, with nine players terminating their contracts this summer after a training ground attack. Late last season, 50 masked intruders forced their way in to the complex and assaulted club employees.
The green and white side of Lisbon are currently ensnared in contract disputes with many a high profile player. Amongst others, Portuguese internationals Rui Patricio and William Carvalho have decided to walk away from the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
In an analogy that may not be seen as completely flattering, Bruno de Carvalho
has been compared to Donald Trump. This scandal has found the opinionated, hugely confident and unpredictable character in hot water once again.
There is a real possibility that the Portuguese businessman will now have to stand trial for fraud. It is but another stain on the name of Sporting CP, with many questioning how long it'll take for the club to get back to what it once was.