Sporting Lisbon president offers to quit to stop players leaving club

Sporting Lisbon president Bruno de Carvalho has offered to stand down in a bid to prevent a number of the club’s key players rescinding their contracts.

Several of Sporting’s players are protesting about de Carvalho’s behaviour, with some even accusing him of “psychological violence”.

On Monday, Bas Dost, Gelson Martins, Bruno Fernandes and William Carvalho told the club they were terminating their contracts.

Their decision followed that of Daniel Podence and Rui Patricio, who quit the club earlier this month.

Following so many of the club’s players indicating their intention to leave, De Carvalho said: “We will resign if the athletes write a letter to Sporting saying, firstly, that if this management quits they will reverse their terminations and play for Sporting.

“Secondly, if we run and get elected again, they maintain their contracts.”

De Carvalho has previously rejected calls by senior club members to stand down, accusing them of carrying out a “concerted attack on Sporting”.

He has also refused to accept the legitimacy of a vote later this month to depose him.

In April, De Carvalho threatened to suspend almost the entire first-team squad, labelling them “spoilt children”, according to the goalkeeper Patricio.

Furthermore, Dutch striker Dost was injured during an invasion by hooded supporters – some armed with sticks – at the club’s training ground last month.