Francisco Conceição (19 years old) wanted to leave FC Porto for Ajax, fly alone and in his own name, without being labeled the son of the coach. A feeling that Domingos Paciência understands well. The former Dragons player, who is a coach and has two footballing sons (Gonçalo at E. Frankfurt and Vasco at Académica), recognizes the sensitivity of a famous nickname, even more so in a squad of a big club and always under scrutiny.
“The label” of being the coach’s son “was a stigma and a burden that, if it didn’t end now, would eventually arise.” For Domingos, “family pressure presupposes several readings” and it can actually be psychologically destabilizing for both of you. The father-son/coach-player situation is not common and should not be comfortable for any of them, according to the former striker, arguing that “in the last year and a half Sérgio has shown objectivity in his son’s bet”. But it is “natural to think that five million euros is not enough for a young player with potential and from a big club”, even if all the facts are not known to judge.
The deal of five million euros – value of the termination clause – has not yet been made official by the parties (FC Porto and Ajax). And it is in the value of the transfer that one of the controversies lies. The Porto universe does not seem to understand how the structure of the Dragons left a promising player, who still had a training contract and received around two thousand euros a month, at the mercy of such a low clause.
But Francisco’s controversial departure goes much further than that. “The uproar exists because nobody understands how a young talent with so much potential is allowed to emerge for such a low amount of money. There is a great silence from the SAD. so many young people. If it was just Francisco it would be bad, but it wouldn’t go down so badly for the fans if it weren’t for Fábio Vieira having left below the value of the release clause, Vitinha would be so poorly explained, our best player [Luis Díaz] be sold mid-season and our most used center [Mbemba] leave at zero cost. It is the sum of disastrous management acts that bothers“, told DN José Fernando Rio, former candidate for the presidency of FC Porto in 2020.
For the businessman, the partners are used to hearing explanations from Pinto da Costa, “but this time there is a great silence that starts to be deafening”. There are “more troubled times” that FC Porto will have to overcome in one way or another: “The president should give a word to the partners, but he can also respond through acts… hiring. It is urgent to go to the market . None of the players who left have been replaced and it is imperative that they be.”
The cheerleader post and the silence of the structure
One of the most critical supporters was the Super Dragons cheerleader. “If FC Porto has been wanting to renew with the coach’s son for almost a year, who is to blame?”, asked Fernando Madureira, in a post on Instagram, which the coach would have felt bad about. From there, the rumors of the departure due to lack of solidarity from the Porto structure was a little hop. Officially, the club and the coach denied it, but the official silence said more about the discomfort of the situation than any statement denying it.
Is Sérgio Conceição’s role as a coach weakened? “No. FC Porto has regained its winning status in the last five years thanks to Sérgio Conceição’s competence, mastery, sportsmanship and dedication, and the fans are very grateful to him for that. FC Porto had been without a single trophy for four years and with it they won three titles, two Portuguese Cups and two Super Cups. Portistas are not ungrateful and they realize that he made omelets without eggs or with low quality eggs, and they fear that this year will be another one in which everything is bet on the coach’s ability to make a winning team with no talent to match”, replied José Fernando Rio.
That doesn’t stop the former candidate from saying that there are things to explain: “Why didn’t he renew himself? Did he want a very high salary? Francisco Conceição had already made the decision and there was nothing to be done?”
Francisco Conceição has already performed medical tests at Ajax and should be officially announced at any time.